Checking In


Presented by current Emory international students --

Presented for perspective Emory international students --

Welcome to “Checking in” - (Emory), where students from diverse background come together. Command players and choose diverse options to explore life in Emory.

Checking in is a non-linear storytelling role-playing game that the participant becomes international students at Emory. The goal of this game to help you, the player, to get familiar with the campus life here at Emory before you come here. And this game will get you fully prepared in an immersive way by putting you directly in an Emory student’s shoes.

By creating a pixelated game we believe that our players would immerse themselves in the gaming environment as they learn about the Emory community beyond the scope of Emory officials. In this way, the game departs from most of the media Emory uses to introduce the campus to the upcoming students and actively engages the students to participate in learning more about Emory through networking such as Facebook to learn the authentic cultures that reside in Emory.

In the Game

The characters will experience a day in Emory facing various daily choices that will impact them in three dimensions. The game also progresses like a normal academic year in Emory. Therefore, you have to make the right choices when facing stressful situations such as midterms and finals. Meanwhile, it’s important for you to maintain a good relationship with your friends to keep yourself motivated and connected when you are here. Challenges will be presented throughout the gameplay such as finding the authentic home food restaurant or finding out that your laundry has been thrown out on the floor by someone because you are 2 minutes late to take it out from the washer. In addition, for every choice you make you will be scored differently on the three pillars of Relationships, Academic, and Mental Health. Going to a party 1 day before midterms, for example, can increase your score in relationships but decrease scores in academic because there’s a high chance that you won’t do well on the test next day.

Purpose: Gameful strategy to overcome an unfamiliar situation

This game is explicitly designed to help incoming international students who have not experienced life in America or Emory University. By playing this game, the students will alleviate the frustration of adapting to a new environment.

Evaluate Yourself!

The three criteria for their experience in the game are an academy, health, and relationship. For every action that the players take, they will be rewarded with one of these three criteria. This is a numerical representation of “how you are doing in college”. But don’t even think about getting full scores on all the criteria: Will you choose the relationship? Academic? Or Health? The decision is yours!

Get Connected with REAL People

Scores can be shared using Facebook so that the players can compete with other players and make friends with them at the same time. You can meet new students from the exact same city with you, or you can socialize with people already in Emory for more fun tips of getting around.


  • Jetlagged: What would happen when you just get in the dorm, but you have to attend the new student orientation in 2 hours?
  • Get a driver license: You want to drive! Of course, the best way to get around in ATL is by driving a car, but how? Even riding a lime need a driver license?!
  • Learn how to cook: Nothing is better than the home flavor you can create with the pans and stove here in Emory, but where to buy species that you need?
  • Campus job: $$$$$$! Where and how do you make extra cash at Emory so you can buy more snacks for the weekend?
  • Friends group: You need friends! Everyone needs friends so go out and make friends!
    clubs/frat/sorority: alpha? Gamma? What is going on? Can someone please speak English?
  • Family time: It’s probably your first time calling your parents from overseas…You feel something different compared with when you were seeing their faces every single day. You are growing up.
  • Get fit: You get all excited thinking about the new gym on campus. But do you really have the energy, time, and persistence to go there?
  • Food: The food on the campus is not appetizing! Also, you can’t cook! Is there a way you can feed yourself?
  • Maintain relationship with old friends: It has been such a different life you and your friend is now experiencing. Can you still maintain the friendship? Or your friends will eventually substitute you with new friends?
  • …...

Intro of creators

Cleo He

I spent a year in a U.S. public school before coming to Emory. Those isolated and anxious days when I could only learn about American culture by myself led me to think about the importance of learning about other international students’ experience. And a game is a perfect media for conveying these messages actively.

Jina Lee

At the beginning of the semester, I realized that the information from Emory international students Orientation did not cover everything that international students needed. For instance, unlike domestic students, international students did not have driver licenses to apply for credit cards at the Bank of America or to run Lime. Therefore, I thought it would be practical to have a platform that introduces life in Emory as an international student's perspective.


I spent my high school in Ohio, so before I came to Emory I wasn’t really nervous about living in another unfamiliar environment. However, I soon found out that college is drastically different from high school after I settled in. We have to manage our times more strictly in order to do well academically. Since I wasn’t a good planer, I used to stay up very late to do HW and projects in high school, but I soon found out that college demands higher efficiency than that.