Classroom Based Role Playing Game

Utopia / Dystopia

In Utopia/Dystopia, students imagine living in a near future where humans can only viably live in Arcologies run by AI, and must learn how to subvert the system

Download Guidebook


Living Sustainably under the Central Authority

When we designed Utopia/Dystopia, we considered how we  could best engage the 90 students of our Middle School in an RPG. For efficiency, we decided there would be a shared overall experience, but the interactions between classes would be limited. Each class therefore became a stand alone city-state, and the lead educator became a totalitarian ruler, whose whim and response to students could set the culture of the group. 

Another key concept in this unit was immigration and resource sharing. Students were allowed to immigrate, but there were barriers and risks. Disasters, both human and natural, made resources scarce at times. Whether students supported each other or exploited one another was up to them.


Open Source Materials and Media on the Game


This narrative article provides a clear view of what running this game was like. It is full of interesting interactions between students who were playing the game.

The game was featured in the documentary “Green School Stories” as part of the learning program.



All resources to play this game can be found in the resource folder.

This unit does require some printing, and has not been adapted for distance learning play (but could be!). The most critical piece is to print the resource cards as found in the folder. An area map printed large (A2) of each Arco is also a great idea.

The guide book gives you a sense of what may be needed to play this game to its fullest.






Class Time

15 hrs