Comment after the 5-week Activity at ZER01NE FUTURE CLUB <Board Night>

2020.12.7

Representing the identity of FUTURE CLUB, ZER01NE by Leader Hwang Moon-Jeong

It was very interesting when I got a proposal for future club to make a board game with other people who are working in different fields for the first time. It was fun to make a board game last year, but I was not fully satisfied with the output as I could handle all work from designing to production. It was a short-term workshop for 5 times but I could learn a lot from people in different fields and I thought that it could be an experiment to apply such things into a board game. As it was hard to control about 10 people and time was limited, I thought that it was better to proceed after laying the foundation for work. That is why I asked artist Choi Jin-hoon who helped me when I made a board game last year to join the work. We thought that it would be difficult to complete the game just with meeting for 5 times and decided to set the overall concept and content of a board game we want to make with in limited time. At a time when all aspects of our lives turn unexpectedly due to unexpected outbreak of infectious disease, we thought that it would be better to make a board game that can predict the near future. So we set out the bigger framework for a board game that will construct or fail to construct an ideal society where technology and ecosystem are in a perfect harmony.

In the first session, we identified the expertise of each participant and decided to divide the team into 2 groups. People from various fields such as marketing, AI, architecture, food and design shared their own knowledge and fill the content of the board game. Participants expressed the areas where they are interested in such as social and philosophical consideration on future society or technical aspect and their interest seemed to be based on the industry where they worked. Unfortunately, we could not have an in-depth discussion due to short duration of discussion of 2.5 hours. In addition, there were many members who participate after work the time we had was short. In the second and third sessions, we produced temporary board game boards and cards based on the thoughts we shared and tried to incorporate interesting ideas as much as possible. But some participants were tired of continuing discussions and if the workshop period were longer, it would be good to make a prototype using simple materials together. In the fourth and fifth session, the two teams met together to share what they have discussed and play the board game which is made after incorporating the feedback. Something vague became clearer as we experienced the game in person. As the advantages and disadvantages of the game became clear, all the participants showed passion for the game. I think it would have been more helpful to improve the game if we had one more session.

It was impressive that the majority of participants were very eager to participate in discussion. Some of them were passionate to complete the game after the sessions so they joined me and artist Choi Jin-hoon to complete the game. This process is the same as my usual work. I usually think about the work, produce and modify them continuously. I think that participants except for artists could experience the joy of creation and they were wiling to participate for completion of board game even without financial incentives. I think future club has a possibility to expand by experimenting various systems in the major subject of ‘Future’.

The attitude of participants in the future club demonstrates that the result of the experiment was positive. If the frame is further refined, I think future club can be a representative program showing the identity of ZER01NE. If the future club is held again, it would be good to engage participants in making the subject and format of a game considering the fact that participants were more active than expected.

Drawing the ideal utopia that each person thinks of by member Yoo Jin-young

Wearing a mask is not awkward any more as we live with COVID-19. Even though there are some inconveniences and limitations in our daily lives, people have adapted themselves quickly to ‘untact’ life and followed the rules of social distancing. They can work from home and learn at home thanks to the advancement of technologies. No one knows how long this time will last, but a lot of stories have already been talked about the post COVID-19 era and content dealing with new normal has been created a lot.
The third pandemic. It is rare case across the world but I think that it is unusual to make a board game under the theme of the future. A board game at this time of pandemic? However, things improved a little bit and I participated in the Board Night as I considered the use and purpose of technology and future jobs.

As a person who studied IT such as artificial intelligence and block chain, I was interested in the principle behind the technologies but at the same time I have always been interested in how to whole problems using technologies as a tool. So I was very delighted to talk about the advancement of technology in the near future and the change in people’s lives with the technologies during the discussion to determine the content of technologies to be used in the board game.
I read articles about problems regarding ‘Untact’ education field due to many technical attempts to help students who cannot to go school during COVID-19 situation. It was not about the new technology development but the use of existing technology. If we could practice such technology beforehand we could reduce the side effects that were caused in the process of rapid transition to remote learning. Some people value the development and research of enabling technologies themselves but others should study the development of applied technologies and method of utilizing the developed technologies in the right place.

We could gather opinion from various perspectives as people from different backgrounds participated. At the same time it was difficult to make a consensus. It is a game to achieve utopia by obtaining 100 points but each participant has different picture of ideal utopia and it was not easy to turn the idea into a game.
In fact, defining a utopia itself was a contradiction. What we should to do to make our world close to utopia? If the measure of achievement for utopia is the level of convenient life for human beings, I think our efforts to overcome the reality is the way to move toward utopia.
In the past, we have endured new normal era by overcoming financial crisis and now we are generating new innovation by adapting ourselves to environment to respond to pandemic in the new normal era. Even when we were stuck at home for several months, global hackathon contests were held to respond to COVID-19 and concert at home, online social dining and other new cultures have been created. It was not ridiculous to say that crisis equals to opportunity.

In the fifth week, which was the last week, we shared our feedback while conducting a game with a prototype game. Game was played well with fun as artist Hwang Moon-jeong and Choi Jin-hoon incorporated our opinion into the game well. After that 5-week period, we have continued to meet to complete the game. I remember the remark from an artist, “Of course game will be the output but the thing remains will be people”.

When I talk about games, I want to say that this game involves cooperation and competition together. Without cooperation, winning the game becomes meaningless. After I conducted test play a number of times, I felt that the reality that competition is required but I cannot win by myself is well incorporated into the game.
Among technologies, unusual topics such as neuromorphic and blockchain are difficult to explain but It is worthwhile to think about the ways to explain it easily. It may be an ambitious dream but I hope that people who will play this game will have fun with greater interest in technologies that appear in the cards.

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