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1349: PLAGUE

1349: Plague Comes to Norwich

by Amy B. Curry with Developmental Editing by Raymond A. Kimball

How will you save Norwich from the plague? 


It's January of 1349, and the bustling city of Norwich faces the rising threat of plague. Members of the community, including merchants, clergy, tradesmen, medical men, and bailiffs, must decide how best to respond to uncertain and rapidly changing circumstances. Should the city impose a quarantine? How can one balance the need for health measures and economic interests? What is the role of of religion in protecting a community? You might win an argument, but will that save your life?

Note: this game was previously titled The Black Death Comes to Norwich.

ABOUT THE GAME

Details

Era 
14th Century, Late Middle Ages, Medieval Period


In a Few Words 
Plague,  Trade Unions and Craft Guilds, Public Health, Church and Government


Disciplines
History of Medicine and Health,  Political Science and Government, Cultural and Social History, Economics, Religion, STEM


Geography 
Great Britain, Europe

Themes and Issues  
Public health, Citizenship, Urbanism, Medicine


Player Interactions 
Factional, Competitive, Collaborative, Lobbying 


Sample Class Titles
Western Civ Survey, Public Health and History, Enduring Questions in the Sciences, History of Science

Level
Level 2+ game (what's that mean?

Mechanics 
Die rolls, Differentiated voting, Informal podium, (Death) Lottery, PIPs


Chaos and Demand on Instructor 
Low - High chaos/raucousness;
Low - High demand on instructor 


Primary Source Highlights
 
The Report of the Paris Medical Faculty, October 1348 by Paris University faculty
Ordinances for Sanitation in a Time of Mortality by the People of the city of Pistoia
The Canon of Medicine by Avicenna ibn Sina 

Notable Roles


Hugh Ballard
Godfrey, Barber's Apprentice


Prioress de Plumstede

Using the Game

Class Size and Scalability 
This game is designed to work in a wide variety of class sizes. While recommended for 12-26 players, instructors have had success using this in larger classes by doubling roles. 

Note
The game author has created materials for both in-person and asynchronous, remote play, as well as for shorter play. Full details and guidance on how to use the game guidance are in the Instructor's Guide, found under Game Materials.

Class Time
  

This game is designed for flexible use, and instructors can consolidate or expand based on their goals.  The game author recommends 5 to 8 sessions (1-3 for setup, 3-4 for gameplay, 1-2 debrief sessions).


Assignments
You can adjust the assignments based on the desired learning outcomes of your class. This game can include: traditional papers, research and thesis-driven writing, epist. Not all roles are required to give formal speeches. 


Possible Reacting Game Pairings
This game can be used on its own, or with other games. 

GAME MATERIALS

Reacting Consortium members can download all game materials. You'll be asked to sign in before downloading. If you are adopting this game for your class, fill out this permissions form.

Gamebook

All students need a Gamebook, which includes historical context, and summaries of essential scientific articles. Members can provide the Gamebook to students for free or at cost. 

Updated January 2022.

Instructor's Manual and Role Sheets

The Instructor's Manual includes guidance for assigning roles, presenting historical context, assignments, activities and discussion topics, and more.

Students also need a Role Sheet, which contains biographical information, role-specific resources or assignments, and their character's secret victory objectives.

If you have materials you would like to add to this website to be shared with other Reacting Instructors, please email us at reacting@barnard.edu.

Reviews 

"I taught it in two sections of Honors history of science, and have never seen students engage so much offline. I had Slack notifications on, and followed a dozen different conversations outline schemes, buying votes, and discussing how to rebut arguments with logic. Student reflection papers reported a much better understanding of the modern pandemic from engaging with the Black Death (in particular the tension between medicine and industry!) They loved the anticipation of the death die rolls. Their biggest complaint? They wanted the game to be longer." 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amy Curry

Reacting and Related Titles

QUESTIONS

Thank you for your interest in this game. Members can contact game authors directly

We invite instructors join our Facebook Faculty Lounge, where you'll find a wonderful community eager to help and answer questions. We also encourage you to submit your question for the forthcoming FAQ, and to check out our upcoming events


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reacting@barnard.edu

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