FARCE (Fictional Arts: Reimagining Creative Ecosystems)
Role-playing adventure game and incubator for reimagining an arts ecosystem
Concept and Design:
Patrick Blenkarn, Laurel Green, and Milton Lim
FARCE (Fictional Arts: Reimagining Creative Ecosystems) is a role-playing adventure game designed to embolden artistic directors, producers, agents, and artists in becoming active change agents. This multi-day experience unfolds over 8 hours of gameplay, and draws inspiration from popular tabletop role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons and The Quiet Year. In a rapidly complexifying narrative, participants are tasked with navigating a fictional force majeure and are called upon to work together with other community members in their region to adapt. They create their own characters and assume a professional role within a ‘fictional’ arts ecosystem from which they will tackle systemic challenges, assist others, design creative responses to address the urgent needs in their community. All systemic challenges the players attempt to solve are drawn from real-world case studies: everything from lack of childcare for artists to lack of feedback on grants; from nepotism in national awards to poor hiring practices by artistic directors.
The blend of human-centred design, long-form storytelling, and role-play methodologies employed in this facilitated ideation process creates a unique forum in which participants are primed to collaboratively envision, rigorously play out, and boldly share surprising and unheard-of strategies to address our sector’s most pressing challenges. FARCE is grounded in the belief that the dramaturgy of cultural design is a responsibility that is shared by all members of the creative community rather than something to be relegated to boardrooms, panel discussions, the offices of those who hold institutional power.
Presentations and Development:
August 5 - 7, 2023: Development Workshop, Theatre SKAM, Victoria, BC
November 17 - 24, 2021: Reboot Conference, Canadian Association for the Performing Arts / Association Canadienne des Organismes Artistiques (CAPACOA) Online, played on Miro/Zoom