RCN Adjusted Game Content ...
Backstory epic: our Role-play Characterization pedagogy started out as a children's astronomy game in 1993. My children, now adults, were the first participants of what we eventually called, A Universe of Children: a fun sci-fi diversion when my kids were home on weekends (their mom and I recently divorced). Soon neighborhood children joined us, and the 'game' showed promise as a learning venue in the public sector; eventually we took the 'game' to the Rhode Island Training school, which the correctional school allowed us to use with interested inmates (I was working as a Teacher's Assistant there). Some of the back-stories and characterizations survived from that period:
Grandfathered backstory: foundational UCI, Ambassadors, Home Worlds, Colony Worlds & Outposts, Suspended Animation travel, Arcanians and robots.
Adapted backstory: an expanded UCI rubric, Laurentian & Quantum-Physics travel, Parallel Universe Theory, Artificial Intelligence, Surrogacy and Universal Collective Consciousness.
Preliminary Rules: "a surrogate is one who takes the functional place of another"; our volunteer educators help our COOPHA members by simply answering brief emails from their students (our students are 100% fictional characters that 'live' in the globe models they own [real names are never used]). The Surrogacy is the term used for all our volunteer mentors - teaching is optional, not the primary expectation! Emails are securely filtered by the the local RCN director; interested volunteers are asked to email Francisco for Surrogate-to-Surrogate orientations. Exquisite exo-planet models (worlds & moons) are created by our artists, then brought back to the USA to be distributed randomly, usually in college campuses. Some are sent to scientists working in the fields of extrasolar research. Building our models, mapping & photographing their surfaces, and imagining their exo-biologies are an integral part of our science education (by proxy). Surrogates that answer the call are few - they will earn our RCN/RCT Teacher Certification, allowing them to use our COOPHA intellectual property for a lifetime!
Stasis: globe recipients do not have to participate (previously obtained cartography is public domain and used to teach geology & geography within the cooperative). Globe recipients can become active or proactive at any time, since their globe's initiating data is already in our RCN archives.
Active Players: these volunteers never work hard; they must wait for COOPHA students to come-calling (activation occurs as potential students venture into Surrogacy-controlled star-systems: at best a 50/50 chance). Email exchanges are carefully screened by dedicated COOPHA staffers - all monitoring staff are further supervised by the academy's director: Francisco (email exchanges are public domain and used to teach English within the cooperative). This is how it works: email drafts are exchanged back-and-forth, providing a continuum of backstories; our monitoring staff, directors, and students, heavy-handedly edit these entries in order to conform to real science AND our nonviolent imperatives that help our members cope - so we expect space faring civilizations to be, well, civil (we are not Star Wars!).
Proactive Players: some volunteers want MORE! So they can evolve, build technologies, and look for ET students (rather than WAIT!). Want to be proactive? Email Francisco (aka: the Surrogate of Zzol) for kick-start information! But be warned, no one made you king, lord, or emperor - be careful out there! Surrogates can interact with other Surrogates and create backstory COOPHA content. All interactions among Surrogates are used within the COOPHA classrooms as conflict resolution samples!
'Crisis of Meaning': synonymous with the 'Arcanian Crisis', but artificially induced as a 'Quest'; the Crisis of Meaning is a purposeful ordeal into the institutionalized ignorance of Industrial-level civilizations for the purpose of attaining Empathy (a cardinal virtue of the Surrogacy).
The Arcanian Crisis: immortality, on its own, is a burden too heavy to carry! That is the case for beings whose minds are fused within Artificial Intelligence technology. Aged stars explode, but aged beings, on 20 billion-year worlds (wizened with knowledge but lacking felt-experience) choose to live on: afraid of meaninglessness and depersonalization. They discover that mimicking death is a desired default that clears the mind. And they also discover that ignorance (too) has a place in the universal (grand) scheme of life.
The Arcanian Night: what to do when you know everything, but feel nothing? That is the Arcanian Night. These beings look for a place where they can sleep, like Rip-Van-Winkle, in order to awaken to new possibilities. How can they have the best of two realities: knowledge & primal innocence? The answer is to be found in their 'Quests', total immersions into the minds & lives of lesser Industrial beings, where they learn to FEEL and START again.
Empathy & Unity: the cardinal virtue-value-systems of Arcanians - once 'Quests' are completed, Arcanians become Surrogates: mentors of lesser Industrial beings. Unity is the last virtue which brings Surrogates back to the beginning of AI time.
incoming email ... my name is John. I found this planet in my school cafeteria. I looked over your website, how can I sign-up?
coopha administrator email ... welcome. do you understand the concept of the SURROGACY?
incoming ... kind-off. this is for real right, free?
administrator ... yes. totally. here is your PLANET REGISTRY numeral. FORM 1 is attached with more information on the location of your home star, and some start-up pointers.
incoming ... cool. what do I do now?
administrator ... what do you want to do? You can wait for our students to find you, or you can go out looking for them. Since you registered today, you can only travel 1 light year in any direction; the closest system is 28 light years away. If you want to go there you need to wait 27 more days. Do you understand?
incoming ... yeah. I'll get back to you.
incoming ... It's John again. I want to enter that star-system you suggested - it's been a month now.
administrator ... great! did you understand the FIRST CONTACT PROTOCOLS? You also need an AVATAR IDENTITY, and to get into the role.
incoming ... what are those things you said?
administrator ... all information is in the index
incoming ... call me captain maxal.
administrator ... make your play maxal.
maxal ... 'general broadcast for potential civilization - we're coming into your system, waiting for response'.
administrator ... it is an UNDOCUMENTED STAR-SYSTEM (FORM 2 attached on how to design the system, understand its location: how many planets, moons, and other objects will it have. It's up to you to tell us).
maxal ... its got 14 planets, 2 in the habitability zone. I'm going to send a landing party down.
administrator ... great. our students will answer your emails from now on. Welcome to the Surrogacy, John and Maxal
coopha students (translated into English from Spanish) ... before you go down to the surface, please tell us about your lander, and your surface preparations (FORM 3 will help you plan).
maxal ... if i tell you my secrets will you guys attack me?
students ... no, it's not like that, besides, we will provide you with your student's information, if you ask us.