German government is backing a Battlestar Galactica game to educate aspiring diplomats

Projekt Exodus will see 80 people participate in a five-day sci-fi scenario aboard a retired destroyer

Zachary Davies Boren
Saturday 31 January 2015 17:23
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Jamie Barber and Mary Mcdonnell in the 2004 series of Battlestar Galactica
Jamie Barber and Mary Mcdonnell in the 2004 series of Battlestar Galactica

Either the German government is full of sci-fi fans or the recent reimagining of Battlestar Galactica has tangible real world relevance.

The German Federal Agency for Civic Education is funding a five-day getaway aboard a retired destroyer for 80 aspiring diplomats — they'll be role-playing Ron Moore's post-apocalyptic TV series.

Project Exodus, which will begin on February 4th, will see participants immerse themselves in a character that will enable them to explore the political topics the show interrogated — freedom, safety, ideology, government.

The Mölders destroyer will host the game

The organisers told the Verge that the aim is to "experience problems of our society from a completely new viewpoint".

"They will be confronted with new situations and impressions that will leave a lasting mark on their thinking."

The role playing itself will last two and half days, with 1 and a half set aside for preparation and one for reflection.

Assuming the project sort of sticks to the script, participants can expect to try to set up a civilian government in the face of devastating and ongoing war (maybe with a cyborg species) and develop strategies and solutions for ideological guerrilla warfare.

It's not the first time a high-concept game has been backed by a government; Sweden offers funding to similar games and, as the Verge points out, some American Civil War reenactments approach larping (live-action role-playing).

And while this is a fresh project for the GFAFC, the cultural bureau has done things like publishing comics.

Neither is Battlestar Galactica new to being taken seriously; it was designed to recontextualise the post-9/11 political landscape, and was even given a proper send off by the UN when it finished back in 2009.

Of course the game is sold out, and spoken exclusively in German, but people can witness the goings-on of the Mölders destroyer on February 8th.

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