Context of ASIC200

Dr. Allen Sens, Professor of Teaching in the Department of Political Science, and Dr. David Ng, Senior Instructor and Director of Advanced Molecular Biology Laboratory and Educational Facilities of Michael Smith Laboratory, co-teach the ASIC200 - Global Issues in the Arts and Sciencecs at UBC, where students explore selected global issues from the perspective of both the physical and life sciences and the social sciences and humanities. The fundamental philosophy of the course is that global issues cannot be fully understood or addressed without a functional literacy in both the Sciences and the Arts. Intentionally structuring the course curriculum to promote open discourse between disciplines and encourage cross-pollination of ideas on important global issues, Allen and Dave created a role-playing game (RPG) assignment to support students' learning process.

Contents

Core Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

Future Worlds Role Playing Game Project Overview

As much as possible, each group will be composed of a mix of Science and Arts students.

In essence, students are asked to construct a future world consistent with what we know today. All students will submit two separate individual assignments of 1500 words and 2000 words respectively, detailing their own future world projection. In their groups, students will collectively design their future world (using notes from their solo assignments) for use in the next step of the group assignment: scenario design.

In this project, the exercise is to create the world in which a role-play game will be set. Think of this as an exercise in future studies or futurology, combined with elements of creating the setting for a futuristic novel or film.

Role-Playing Game Assignment

This project will consist of three components and stages of development:

  1. First solo world building assignment: Conceptualization and description of a future earth, based on physical and life science and social sciences and humanities research, evidence, trends and predictions. In addition, any special circumstances, developments, or impact events that might influence a future world may be included but must have support in science or the social sciences. The description of this future earth must include (but is not limited to):
    • The future earth’s physical, geographic, biological, ecological and climatic conditions, described in a manner consistent with scientific possibilities and narratives in scientific literature;
    • The future earth’s social, human, governmental, international and economic characteristics and systems consistent with research in the social sciences and humanities.
  2. Second solo world building assignment: Design of a specific scenario in which a group of humans in this future world find themselves seeking to attain a common goal or objective. Scenario design includes the location, context, and objective or goal of the humans involved, as well as who these humans are and what qualities they possess. The scenario design might include (but is not limited to):
    • The objective of the scenario, which might be to find something of value, escape from somewhere, solve a mystery, or even save the world.
    • The creation of the characteristics, attributes, skills, and backgrounds of the individuals involved in the scenario (the characters).
  3. Group assignment (via Google Doc as a collaborative platform): Design and practice running the game. In this part of the project, all the elements of future world design, scenario development, and characters are brought together to make a playable game. Games should be play tested.

On the last day of class, groups will submit their final Future Worlds Role Playing Game Project. Students from each group will congregate in new groups to play the game designed by each group, run by one of the designers.

More assignment details may be found on the course website.

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When re-using this resource, please attribute as follows: Created and developed by Dr. Allen Sens and Dr. David Ng of University of British Columbia."