2016 HumTechFest LARP

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Group 1 Report Back

Putting a water filter as a resource was better than water. Sustainable resource versus the thing itself.

Lots of reflection on team size, people pwere happy falling into a role of scavenger, maguever, etc. But larger groups folk would hvae been left out.

Process to identify skills might have been good to do.

Concerns about letting things be organic lets ego get in the way, self care goes by the wayside.

Communication, eager humans running out to get things versus waiting for more information.

Competitive, got comms up without udnerstanding the limitations. Don't know if anyone GOT your message. Huge failure of tha tool. Great to experience that. Finding more prep time with tools like these.

The antennas would have been best, but didn't have time to set them up. Expensive and special.

Maps were appreciated, better systems for marking our resources. Didn't htink about the resource space collision, ended up with others' resources.

More fun to play over a bigger space, would have had to do more comms.

People did liek the urgency.

Yankee swap -- should be able to open an egg, want to give up the one you had for a different (maybe better, maybe worse). more agency for those in th efield.

Group 3 Report Back

Assumption about the tech, installed and swapped tech, and then just drew a map.

Supply chain was pretty good

Time limits were good, made things more difficult.

Difficulty in knowing rules. Moral ambiguity. Couldn't act because we didn't know all the rules. Easy part was brainstorming scenarios beforehand.

Group 4 Report Back

Moral ambiguity. Desire to understand things like who is in the mix? Is it just the 4 able-bodied people here? Is there a set of elderly folk who need help?

Conversation about clarifying in deeper detail the environment and scenario the details which actually matter, create opportunities. Like Battleship.

Found the prep work around comms, plans about how it would work. Ended up moot. Just made a map, oh that was easy. Anticipatory pre work that went out the door.

Specifics of who was involved, going deeper into needs. Over generalize. Menstruation pads disappear. Have a way to think about that, examining as a part of the process.

Group 2 Notes

  • Hannah
  • Gisli
  • Alex
  • Drew
  • Becky facilitating
  • Willow note taking

How was the whole thing for you?

Watching how it goes, seeing trainings that others are hosting

Problem solving is something you halways have to do, so thinking outside the box is an important skill

Makes you think about a thing or two. Not clear about the rules -- should you pick up other people's stuff? Walking dead? Competing or collaborative? People took different decision in teh same group.

Fun, cool. Potential with a lot more time. Mechanics were a bit more... the moral ambiguity was good but felt a bit lost at times.

Liked improvising, that the rules changed. Emergent properties to the game. Mirrors the real world, how much the circumstances can change. Balance of what we created with how much was given to us.

Mismatch of what you had and what you wanted?

Had everything off the bat.

Imaginative filling in the blanks that we wouldn't be able to do in reality, but you could find more things.

Go bag, but didn't specify what was in it. So it was an empty bag. People who don't fill it up, or stuff in it is expired.

Thought we were winning because we had covered things, but then we only had a lighter. New needs came up. Another team was generous, donated. Collaborated.

Did anyone feel left out at any point?

The group size of 4 to 5 means you can be on the fringe of the conversation, 2 to 3 is better for problem solving

How did the supply chain work out?

Simple for us, our needs and resources matched up.

More random events. Water is bad, but what about adding disease? Someone didn't wash their hands. 3 members have dysentary.

Hard to know the baseline of supplies. Feeling like we were ahead, but then looking at another group. Get more creative with fewer things.

How did comms and collaboration miss or match your experience or expectations?

Went around asking for fire to solve one of our problems. People wanted to trade, which felt weird. Does that happen in a disaster? Not knowing what the "win" conditions were -- does everyone need to survivie? Are there more rounds? Knowing more about the meta wou ldhave changed people's behavior. But it did make sense.

didn't want to share because I wasn't sure what my team would need.

Some resources could be lent. Others are turn taking with a blanket. The quantity you have, how many you're caring for, what the other groups look like.

collaboration doesn' thappen between organizations, it happens between people. orgs compete in disaster. Dennis Poleti. But the people will collaborate to help th epeople in front of them, say "screw you" about policy etc.

The team being reshuffled surprised me. Was ready to grab the eggs I stashed, but the teammate I stashed them with grabbed them first.

Expectation that the game has teams, operate within that.


Where we hid the eggs - wrote it down, got it.

Not sure what we were meant to communicate or not communicate. Expected some constraint. Don't draw a map, or something.

The sense that something would happen in the room, with a sense of coordination part. Some constraint on communication. Only a certain number of people in the room at a time. Challenge to keep people informed. We could work through it.

Collaborating with other teams worked really well. Got over not wanting to do that.

Time and conflicts. Didn't have time to emerge. Have a time within the game to step back and reflect, formulate strategies. Different opinions, begin to discuss things. Too easy to step back and let others decie, not be involved.

Heirarchy of resources. I would repeat some resources. or sneak multiple into one egg.

Group-wide Closing Comments

We played a game so we could generate some ideas of what would happen in a reality situation. What would you do differently, or try, or add in your real world life, based on this.

  • Need people to set up and play with the tech first. Set up the groups early on. Having a point person to make sure everyone gets set up.
  • Reminder of "make the most of what you have available." I have some ideas about preparedness and my personal safety. What do I do with all my business data, making sure the people I help are able to get my help. Making that investment time is a new priority.
  • As technologists, we try to use the latest thing we learned. the paper map is so valuable, we know how to use, it's easy, draw it and reproduce it.
  • preparedness before a crisis happens. Instutions to think about these things so you already have a list.
  • have a lot of resources, but we don't need to overlap if we can avoid it. Share resources. Hard to do in America because we're so idealistic. Have the group that hangs out do something instead.
    • Portland and other places have tool libraries / community spaces with those resources
  • We all know we should prepare, but none of us do. World Bank had an economist figure out that $1 on preparedness is worth $6 in response. maybe the same is true of time.
  • had some difficulties using the map at first. When hiding the eggs, thinking about how to map them, which had failsafes in case something didn't work. Symbols, paces, directions.
    • Open Street Map might have been good for all this. OSM connects to paper map making, community symbol generation. Don't have to use the internet. Can share your path. You can download an offline version. Forget it's there.
    • "I understood the data by walking around in it" -- making sense with whatever way finding you have with you.
  • social contracts. frameworks are good, principles are better (esp in chaotic mode). How we might negotiate each other, work together. Burning Man has two principles. Specializing on one thing means you aren't self-sufficient, but knowin gthat wha tyou provide is of enough value that you'll be able to trade.
  • making my own map with paper. compass in Costa Rica.
  • tech should be an enabler. we see the newest tech and think we can use it. better to see what people are using today, use that to improve what they're already doing. Don't reinvent the whole system.
  • Playing the role of surviving isn't our natural instinct in a disaster unless it's the biggest one ever. We're going to be spending time laying low or organizing the community around us to provide services to those less fortunate. That looks very different than "here is a cache of resources, how will we use it to sustain ourselves?" It's more about where we collect, what skills we have to provide services at a large scale. Who will do what functions to make a grassroots entitty that can help? How can we integrate that? The victim/survivor concept happens to a lot of people but to this group of people it's much less likely.
    • Political, understanding teh systems, not about preserving ourselves. We're still doing Katrina 10 years in.