Paradox of Progress: The Board Game

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The Paradox of Progress Board Game is an interactive experience where people can play together, think through different people’s perspectives about world issues, and work together to reach a better future world.  The game is based on the concept that people can agree that they hope the world will be a better place in 20 years than it is today.  Building off the premise that all people playing will hope that our future world will be full of opportunity and prosperity, rather than a world of war and poverty, individuals will be able to align their objectives to get to this better future world.  

Players will all take on the role of different characters, who have varying political views, income levels, education levels, and professions.  The players must play the game as this new persona, all of whom have different strengths and weaknesses.  By embodying the role of a character that may be different from themselves, players gain an empathy for how a person in real life in that situation is thinking and how they make decisions.  

Paradox of Progress takes inspiration from the board game Pandemic, in which all players must cooperate and play together to win.  The Paradox of Progress board game is designed such that players must work together to navigate various world events and make choices about policies collectively.  This will involve active dialogue among players to come to a group consensus about their policy choices, which will all have effects on the shape of their future world.  By working together towards a common goal, the game will apply to both the personalities of those who are competitive, and those who are not as competitive.     

There are three possible future worlds that players can end up in, and the choices they make will shape and influence which future world they end up in.  World 1 is the Backtrack world.  If players end up here, they have lost the game.  This world is full of war, conflict, and poverty.  World 2 is Stall.  Players neither win nor lose if they end up in this world.  This world represents a stalling of progress, and this world in 20 years looks just like the world today.  Players win by reaching World 3: Prosper.  This world is full of opportunity, affordable healthcare for all, a flourishing world economy, food and clean water for all, affordable and accessible education, and peace.  

The Paradox of Progress board game provides an informal, fun way to discuss world events and viewpoints of policies, in a manner that people are thinking about others points of view and are trying to work with their peers to reach a better future world in 20 years.  The Paradox of Progress gets it’s name from the paradox of our society.  Industrial and information age advancements are leading our world to be both more dangerous yet full of opportunity.  The choices we make today will determine whether promise or peril pervades in the future.    

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