Classroom Based Role Playing GameNew States of Atlantis
The New States of Atlantis puts students in the land developer’s seat, where they make decisions that impact their island and deal with cataclysm.
A Land Management Game Designed for Distance Learning
This RPG focuses around a pretty vital question for our age: “How do the decisions I make affect the community, and how do decisions my community makes affect me?”. In this game, each learner operates as a new ‘owner’ of land on a mythical island. Over the course of a dozen turns they may develop their land as they see fit, with an understanding that the choices they make have economic, social, and environmental impacts.
The game was designed specifically to cater to two challenges the world of education faces in light of the COVID-19 pandemic: keeping the intrinsic motivation high among students, and bringing learning offline as much as possible. As a Role Playing Game, learners quickly dive into their new personas, and from my experience in the past it is hard to get the learners to stop thinking about it! All the independent work in this game can be done without a computer, but the social element of the game demands a high degree of social interaction, which can be be held in synchronous sessions or through discussion forums asynchronously.
Open Source Materials and Media on the Game
The original game site was published under REAL School, and can be accessed for downloading all the content.
This article about the game play is a clear experience around what effect and impact the game has in a virtual classroom setting. There is also an older article which shares the use of cyrptocurrencies in the game.
There is a Photo Album of different student artefacts also available to peruse… it gives you a great idea of how a range of students engage in the game.
This game requires only a few digital resources, and can be delivered to students to print and play at home. A printed playbook is really useful to hand to students, as well as their lot sheets, an island overview map, and a workbook (for budget and improvements).