Anisha Mukherjee

Experience Designer
Anisha is an Experience Designer who loves diving into the nitty-gritty of research to break down complex problems and find simple intuitive solutions. She is passionate about creating meaningful interactions by drawing on principles of design and human emotion.
Thesis Faculty
John SharpKyle Li

Vanishing Voices

Vanishing Voices

“Vanishing Voices” is a narrative-driven legacy card game that immerses players in a quest to save their language from extinction. Set in a world where linguistic diversity is rapidly diminishing, players become the last guardians of their native tongue and face challenges posed by the spreading influence of Domi, a fictitious universal language.

The game aims to engage players emotionally through the narrative and gameplay, helping them gain a deeper understanding of the value of linguistic diversity as they lose parts of their language to factors that lead to language shift — such as globalization, attitude of speakers, and social and economic change — and the importance of preserving endangered languages in our global community.


Manipur is a small state in the northeast corner of India. At age 12, fearful of adverse influences from the political unrest in my hometown, my parents sent me to an all-girls boarding school (Mayo) in Rajasthan, in far west India. It was during my time at Mayo that I realized a significant shift in my linguistic and cultural identity. Growing up, my conversations with family and friends, as well as my inner thoughts, were predominantly in Manipuri. However, the immersion in an English-speaking environment at Mayo gradually led to a transformation. Without my conscious awareness, my conversations and thoughts began to shift towards English. Since then, I have always been fascinated by my evolving relationship with Manipuri.

My discovery of the language I grew up speaking being “potentially vulnerable”, coupled with my existing fascination, led to the exploration of a thesis project aimed at igniting curiosity about language endangerment.



Creating the Language Cards
Language Cards are created at the beginning of the game by the players. This allows players to use their imagination and be creative — they can weave in their favorite words, phrases, or expressions in the language of their choice into the narrative, or invent new terms and phrases for the game.

Tearing Up the Language Cards
Once a language is extinct, it can never be revived without adequate documentation and is lost for future generations.The game mechanics of tearing up a Language Card that could not be saved emphasizes this point and creates as emotional impact on the players.

Visualising Language Loss
The vitality of a language and language shift is an abstract idea that is hard to grasp. The Vitality Tiles attempt to visualize this idea as players turn tiles to blue as parts of their language dies, signifying the spread of Domi’s influence.

An Individual’s Actions
Action Cards represent strategies available for saving a Language Card and focuses on saving languages through intergenerational transmission in combination with domains of use and documentation.

Game Aesthetics

As the inspiration for this game began with Manipuri, the board and cards’ aesthetic draws inspiration from Manipuri handloom designs, paying homage to the region’s cultural heritage which reflects the deep-rooted cultural legacy and economic importance of handloom weaving in Manipur.

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