social

Civic Intelligence Role Playing Games

Pattern ID: 
139
Discussion: 

 

Role Playing Games (RPGS) such a Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) combine storytelling with a set of rules that determine the abilities of the players and govern the interactions between the players and their environment. Essentially, RPGs allow the players to simulate imaginary scenarios and act them out. There are many elements of RPGs that are similar to elements of Civic Intelligence (CI). The development of a CI-RPG could allow roleplaying game methods to be applied for practical social justice problem solving and team building.

At the start of a game, the players in an RPG gather together to form a team which is usually called a “party.” Then they are often presented with a mission, a quest which the party will attempt to complete. Before each game, each player develops the character they will play, and determines the Skills and Attributes they will have. This is similar to the Capabilities found in Civic Intelligence.

In D&D there are six Attributes every player’s character has: Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma. For each character each of these Attributes will have a number value assigned to it (randomly), which measures how much of that particular Attribute the character has. Characters also have Skills, such as Concentration or Diplomacy, which correspond to certain Attributes. For example, a character with high Dexterity who has the Use Rope Skill will be very good at that Skill. The higher the corresponding Attribute the better a character will be at a particular skill.

Different characters will have different Skills and Attributes and a party must work together and combine their capabilities to be successful. A Civic Intelligence Roleplaying Game could allow a group of civic-minded people to explore ways to improve their individual operations and cooperative interactions by simulating problems and imagining potential solutions. Where traditional RPGs often serve as escapism, a CI-RPG would seek to replicate the real world and experiment in ways that might be too difficult or dangerous to perform in real life without rehearsal.

Categories: 
engagement
Categories: 
social
Categories: 
resources
Themes: 
Research for Action
Themes: 
Community Action
Themes: 
Theory
Themes: 
Case Studies
Pattern status: 
Draft

Community Oriented Social Media

Pattern ID: 
138
Rudyard
Discussion: 

Access to information and connections is essential to be successful in the 21st century. There is talk in many cities across the country of establishing municipal broadband- for example the grassroots organization “Upgrade Seattle” wants to “make the internet a city-owned and operated utility.” in Seattle.

 

A possible step further would be to create a publicly owned, operated and funded Social Network that would fill a role similar to that of radio and TV public broadcasting. The first and most obvious benefit would be the same one that comes from public broadcasting, that is- providing an alternative to the corporately owned, commercially funded media platforms, with a greater emphasis on community issues.

 

The services that companies like Facebook provide are valuable, and many of us willing give up a lot of equally valuable information in exchange for those services. The personal data Facebook mines from us is sold to other companies and used for market analysis, as well for generating personally targeted advertisements. A great wealth of information is produced thru all the clicks and likes and views from the users. All this data could go to good uses the private sector is not likely to be concerned with. Collection of census data and statistics for aiding scientific research are some of the immediate possibilities.

 

There is a need for people to have greater control over their information and how it is used. Perhaps not only a need, but a right. Then, beyond the issue of how our information is used, there’s the issue of how information filters to us through our “feeds.” The posts we see from our friends and the pages we follow (as well as advertisers) are sifted and prioritized based on hidden algorithms. There should be concern about how this system can create personal bubbles and opinion echo-chambers. Not to mention how it could influence people’s mental states (based on whether they see more police shootings or puppy videos, for example).

Categories: 
organization
Categories: 
social
Themes: 
Community Action
Pattern status: 
Draft

Semantic Manipulation

Pattern number within this pattern set: 
5
Version: 
3
Verbiage for pattern card: 

Certain words, phrases, or ideas become taboo in societies due to their negative definitions.  When these definitions prevent governments or corporations from their goals, they may sidestep the problem by redefining words to manipulate the public into accepting something they otherwise would not accept.

Fundamentalism

Pattern number within this pattern set: 
6
Version: 
3
Verbiage for pattern card: 

Fundamentalism is a term for a range of rigid and extreme beliefs.  Fundamentalism is found all over the world.  It's often religious when one group's gods and laws are absolutely true and all others are absolutely false.  Some typical characteristics are: exclusionism, strict adherence to certain doctrines, an acceptance of violence, xenophobia, and a belief in the end of the world.  Fundamentalism -- and not just the religious kind -- is fundamental for perpetuating worldwide turmoil.

Compartmentalized Knowledge

Pattern number within this pattern set: 
7
Version: 
3
Verbiage for pattern card: 

Knowledge is effectively compartmentalized (or put into "compartments") when different people not only have access to certain types of knowledge but are actually denied formally or via social norms or personal preferences from going beyond their allowable sphere.  Academics often do this to draw boundaries around their own disciplines, thus preventing perceived encroachment and interdisciplinary research.

Distorting History

Pattern number within this pattern set: 
8
Version: 
3
Verbiage for pattern card: 

The historical record can be altered by teaching events that did not happen, altering events that did happen, or omitting events altogether.  Over time, knowledge of the truth will die with those who witnessed it, and the alternate version will be universally accepted as true.

Dumbing Down

Pattern number within this pattern set: 
9
Version: 
3
Verbiage for pattern card: 

The general population cannot understand complex issues and may even be confused into conflict by certain controversial topics.  This can be avoided if topics are dumbed down into easily understood emotionally charged debates that cannot be easily argued with.

Forbidden Knowledge

Pattern number within this pattern set: 
10
Version: 
3
Verbiage for pattern card: 

This is the industrial strength version of Compartmentalization of Knowledge anti-pattern.  This occurs when knowing or pursuing some knowledge is actually denied to a certain group of people under the threat of penalty, as when the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) being told they can't study guns as a "Public health issue."

Opacity

Pattern number within this pattern set: 
11
Version: 
3
Verbiage for pattern card: 

Sometimes information is kept secret from citizens.  This is useful when hiding corruption, money laundering, vote buying, tax evasion, etc.  With opacity in place, over the years elite business and governments can distance themselves further and further away from any controls on them.

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