LGJ Pandemic Edition: COVID-XX
Notes 29 March 2020
On 29 March, 6 players tuned in from Berlin, Amsterdam and Copenhagen to play online and develop a new scenario for LGJ themed “Pandemics: COVID-XX”. This is the story of the 3 hours game. It includes suggestions that come from the master and the players and is intended to be a documentation of a LGJ game on the theme.
Fredd and Beth had prepared a bit the game structure, activated group chat on Telegram and an account on Figma, uploaded some basic design elements and made a couple tests.
• Play & Notes HackMD https://hackmd.io/3YnxdddVQfKNL7rithRrdQ?edit
• Game Master HackMD https://hackmd.io/T3nWGNVQTuCNrZiiojVrEA?view
Basic Rules and Scenario
Daniel and Beth spent the prior week tracking unfolding narratives from Covid-19 outbreaks around the globe, including public reactions, resource distribution, ratcheting state control + surveillance, and supply chain disruptions, to inform a series of LGJ cards tailored for this game edition.
We imagined the “reality-adjacent” world of COVID-XX to be situated in a near future in which we’ve recovered from a “first wave pandemic” that left empty schools, collapsed institutions, abandoned factories and unclaimed land in its wake – and ready to be repurposed for creative solutions!
Key lessons we’re collectively learning the hard way from COVID-19 still apply in the universe of COVID-XX: access to human capital (such as farming and healthcare labor) comes with the risk of infection, self-sufficiency is as much of a needed defense against supply chain disruption as masks are against the disease, and power + safety are as unevenly distributed as access to cures, vaccines and medical devices.
The starting situation was made as such: two cities with a land border, Violet City and Redcity. We avoided names that could refer to existing cities not to pre suggest cultural linked behaviour.
Players chose a color freely and started arranging themselve on the board. All of them chose to stay on one of the two cities alone.
Is decided that Mastering will be collective and coordinated by fredd.
Resources distribution ha been done standard: Number of lands at beginnig each 1d6, White is 2d6, Gray 1d6 (1d6)
Epidemic: at start of the game has not been spotted yet in any of the cities, but population and authorities are aware of necessary steps and basic technology and knowledge. For the game we base ourselves on what is known in march 2020.
Coins are white: energy, money, time/money and gray: waste, garbage, dissipation, bad karma
Premise: On 20.02.2020, Nostradamus appears in the dreams of all you leaders of nations/communities/taz: oh puny mortals, I have seen what Gaia has in store for you in the future and shes had enough of your hubris and has decided to wipe out humanity within a few years with global warming. However I have pleaded with the cosmos to give you one last chance to prove your worth: your challenge will thus the following: a global pandemic is going to appear on planet earth and you will be tasked with making humanity survive this event while adressing other challenges that appear as life’s course takes on."
]INFO ABOUT CITIES (RED & VIOLET)
city violet has 20% less chance of spreading disease
spreading of contagion for the first turn is 1d8
LJG CARD DRAWS DURING GAME
one of the player is going to be the “terrorist” and can infect another player
he is thinking of infect the toilet paper nbut choses not to infect
Players colors, setup phase and initial strategy:
Raffa (Yellow) set up her land on Redville and started a food production/common garden initiative. Was unlucky with the first success throw so took her 2 rounds to start throwing yeald
• Raffa (yellow)
garden but it’s a shitty garden (throw the d10 for sucess makes 4) so it will cost her 0 gray per turn
it has a yield of 1d4 but the first 2 times it won’t run (won’t give any more)
convinces people to invest their time in gardening (since they are bored, unemployed etc.) and that is social distancing as well;
Invests in afirst hydroponics plant and convinces people to expand the gardens; manages to double the gardens area, yield becomes 2d4
Tries to get more people to join the garden, with good sucess, ans starts growing a system of community gardens around her perimeter, the effect is multiplying land for free together with resources for cultivation
Her integration between Hydroponics and communal attracts becomes a product of exchange with Beth growing community around the school in the other city, so also Beth starts reproducing the experiment adapting it to the different situation
Can (violet) started up as a green researrch lab in a empty industrial building, had a decent sucess throw and was modeled as such: cost per round 3W, Lab has 50% chance to get founded every round, if passes the throw has 1d12 of yeald, no Grays
The Green Technology Lab has 20% more chance to discover new tech, whatever that will be in the future (dice roll has higher probability)
at the moment it’s not producing anything because still fundraising (interesting discussion about how to model high risk activity, and the solution is public founding
drew LGJ card and gets “bioterrorism: Ecoanarchist Lab launches” from the draw
in his lab he has a specimen of the virus (under control)
nobody knows his lab contains the specimen
invent a research lab for the pandemic presents it as – a control mechanism in the lab; within my lab we look into plant-based medicine research in hopes of helping Raffa in the future because she has gardens that could potentially produce more botanical products
Calls an assembly to propose the City to built a green belt around the city, starting from his lab, as a constitued of areas of self sustainable live and low density of population. Therefore nobody can build around the lab
The ecoanarchoterrorists claim they have a cure and want to sell it to the rest of the city. The rest of the city’s inhabitants believe them and apply for more funding: gets plus 5 white and dont throw any grey as people believe in them for now.
From that moment on the esearched towards a cure progresses
In the mean time he builds new green areas next ot the house
Beth (Green) took the opportunity of abandoned schools (from the fictionalized “first wave of the pandemic”) and organised a group that occupied the empty school with the idea of starting up a self sufficient community. Had not very promising start (low score on dice throw), could only occupy a room and spend the first period looking for the keys of the other rooms, yet the school was well chosen: labs, sport facilities, industrial kitchen and a lot of re-usable space in and out the premises.
From her notes:
retaken school, with industrial school, a gym, a office with mediacal supplies and 3d printer and science lab…
space for special use from fort to makeshift production to hospital
outdoor tennis court and outdoor soccer field
gray = 0
indoor swimming pool
manage to get control of the whole school but still need more volunteers to run
add 3 whites
turn boarding school dorms into barracks and test the area;
it’s not contaminated so we can recruit new volunteers
volunteers trade labor for shelter in the school and each has to be tested when they enter, so school stays a clean zone for now
Because of Beth we start a rule for testing: Dices are thrown by the master; Test is generally available and cost 1d4 for each triangle to test, then the dice with the distribution at this time for the city is thrown, 1 corresponds to infection. For city red is in this moment 1d8
The center starts a mask production in the theater dept and 3D printing lab; ; begin early stage garden in the outdoor field and hydroponics garden on tennis court in collaboration with Raffa
the surrounding neighborhood wouldn’t let us turn the gym into a makeshift hospital yet
instead we expanded our food production to become closer to self-sustaining by bringing advisors, gardeners and hydroponics to our garden
we trade 3D printers (for mask and ventilator production) with Raffa’s neighborhood in exchange for garden supplies and knowledge about their hydroponic and labour
no one from Raffa’s neighborhood was infected even though they’re from the infected zone of Redville (determined by dice roll), so School remains uncontaminated
good thing we made this trade before the borders closed between Redville and Violetville!
at some point the cops (see below for fredd) infiltrate the school and area around it to surveil us
originally when they tried to close the border we voted against it, but now that we’re self-sufficient and the virus is now in Violetville we do want to close it
Dani (Cyan) Started with a big garage stocked of toilet paper, that became the place for toilet paper in the Violet City. His argument is that without the fear of missing TP the citizen would have not crowded supermarkets and therefore spreading would be less high. He is convincing and his dice throw accellent so he is successfull.
toilet paper emporium, theres enough stockpiled so nobody rushes to the stores, lowering the infection rate: roll a dice of 8 instead of a dice of 6 to see if you’re infected
gray = 0
made the testing campaign and asked strongly to set a clean zone for the police dept. testing whether cops got infected, and they didn’t (throw dice)
we know the second wave is coming so we want to start measures to contain it
HAs a sort of idea to go Building drones to do manual labor while humans are working remotely but is unconvincing
Proposed a research tax to fund efforts on a cure, that will be funding the cure. The proposal is approved. 207 whites are gathered. (for tax procedure see below)
The following turn testign is started for the entire city payed for the public money collected.
Conducted testing on entire violetville, only 2 triangles are infected in the entire area and can start being contained thanks to the lockdown and bordure closure
Fredd (Pink) Decided to be the small town sheriff/cop, for such he would receive a stipendium of 1W each turn and the community would give him gray according to the perceived ethics of his actions
Fredd that is mastering decides to play as well to give enough variety to the game. He decided to be the town cop, he will get grey according to how he acts as chief of police
gets money directly from the city, so every turn get 1 white (his stipendium)
Accountability Check Roll: the community of players can decide to make him get an amount of gray based on his behavior
receives a package in the mail from the lab
sanitized his facilities since he isn’t infected
cops taken by paranoia insist that the border between two cities gets closed and they can check it; the community votes against and border stay open
cops show that they can use corruption and that they talk with smugglers, starting a corruption ring
so cops wants more from their corruption ring and to be able to get stuff done from criminal connections, as a side effect trust in the police goes down
At the end of our 3 hours of game we saw that in Redville the virus spreading was quite high. This was due to various factors.
A death cult appeared (LGJ card)
As consequence infectivity increased to 50% until the members were tracked down
Redcity decided to imitate violet city and put up a tax, but the amount of money collected was significantly lower and the test could not be done on all the population
CONSTRAINTS introduced while playing
knowledge is OPEN, so anything that is invented is globally shared
A cart was thrown about 3/4th of the game announcing “Alien Technology: Scientists have discovered a technology that substantially reduces the rate of infection but only one player gets it depending on the roll dice” THe roll laureates Can and he decides to open sources: every place drops contagious rate to 1/12 (1d12)
what we have learned?
the digital representation we conjured works good enough (Beth)
the information flow and the keeping track methodology works ok, can be improved
from completely imaginary we got very concrete very fast as soon as the virus manifested and spread
some trends that we are learning from observation of this pandemic historical data, policies and behaviours were reproduced quite well by the simulation
some of the LGJ cards themed for the scenario were super nice as timed of their appearence
The idea of playing with different constraints is interesting
Extra visual symbols and icons, easily available in figma, worked great, and made drawing between turns very entertaining
Very interesting the dynamics between economy and taxation in times of emergency
more communal decisions had more impact
play a couple rounds more would have been nice, so we decide to leave the game as it is and come back to continue another time this week. Is noted that this would not have been possible with a non connected/tech enabled and drawn board. Is a note for realising a online version of the game
It would be fantastic if the telegram bot could take track of money flows as well as dices throw
The utility of having a bot came very handy when we wanted to throw dices for all the 60 triangles of the board to do the pandemic test!
Federico Bonelli - 伯弗瑞, [29 Mar 2020 at 22:30:39]:
Roll 'em Bot, [29 Mar 2020 at 22:30:40]:
(4 + 6 + 1 + 4 + 4 + 1 + 6 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 5 + 6 + 4 + 5 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 3 + 5 + 3 + 3 + 2 + 3 + 2 + 6 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 6 + 4 + 6 + 4 + 4 + 6 + 2 + 2 + 4 + 6 + 5 + 4 + 2 + 6 + 1 + 3 + 4 + 2 + 5 + 6 + 5 + 6 + 3 + 6 + 1) =
The flow of discussion in 4/5 players connected only in audio (via a jitsi instance on the browser) became good enough after the first 60’ of play.
MASTER NOTE; Pandemic Tax: How pandemic tax was modeled
1 d10 to check the richness of the city as a whole. The idea was to generate a mean yeald distribution accordingly.
Violetville got 9/10 (1d1,…,1d8)
Redville got 1/10
With the telegram bot becomes easy to do a dice throw for every triangle of the city and calculate the total (every board has 60 triangles) /roll 60d6 for examples
so threw a 1d6 for every triangle (60) for a total of 208W collected in the city.
The idea was copied by Redville in a following round, the throw gave us a 1/10 on richness, so collected 1d2 for every triangle, collected 88 W, a sum not sufficient for a screening of the entire population.
fredd: I am really happy of how we modeled the tax and the infection using the bot, is something we could not have done without the computer assisted interaction in this case. In other cases as well was able to count out terrains that were occupied by different activities and apply at large a probability throw. This is practically a Montecarlo sampling technique.
As well the keeping track on telegram of every move and throw of dices made works very well, because actions and notes are timestamped AS THEY WOULD ON A BLOCKCHAIN, giving another use of a DLT Technololgy
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