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Cap Naes

Posts: 36
Reply with quote  #1 
So a few friends and I just threw together an artemis night for a youth (scouting) group that we work with. I pitched it as a fun but different activity that would surreptitiously teach leadership, cooperation and team work skills, and everyone was on board to give it a try. Set up an impromptu bridge in a church room, complete with projector, the 6 usual stations, 3 fighter consoles, big noisy speakers, a few accessory portable interfaces (ipad, surface tablet), and a lamp with a lifx bulb providing awesome visual ambiance thanks to artemis bridge tools. I should have taken some pictures but was too busy to think of it!

We had 10 X 14-15 year old boys playing for the first time with 3 coaches who knew the game and a small audience. I would call it a success and very entertaining. They entered with the bravado of modern youth playing an "old, bad graphics" game, but quickly became immersed and overwhelmed. The "yeah, I'll be the Captain" swagger quickly became, "what am I supposed to do?!"

A 20 min "training mission" to learn consoles and grasp the concepts of the game and they were off. We were richly entertained by a few rips through asteroid and mine fields, the "ship's all broken Captain," damage report, "we have shields?" and "I don't know how it stops," not to mention the antics of 14 year old fighter pilots. Rules are boring until you launch your fighter at warp 3 without authorization and have a lot of boring chasing to do. Is that better or worse than the fighter pilots high fiving after blowing a TSN escort into pieces? "Hey Comms? That's a message to speak up about." Far from the only friendly fire incident.

Notwithstanding, they pulled it together eventually to complete a mission and outlive all the enemy. I was particularly impressed to see how the young captain re-organized his bridge and eventually appointed his first officer to be "in charge" of the fighter table, and finding out what comms has to say. (This was shortly after trying unsuccessfully to abdicate his chair to one of his officers in the middle of a battle). They did win an eventual cleared map and a round of applause, and a lot of eagerness to do it again.

I'm calling it a success- they had fun, and I do think they gleaned some team work and debriefing skills that don't show up in their usual online first person shooter choices.

We will likely do the activity again in the future for some of our other age groups. Will try to remember pictures.
Mike Substelny

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Posts: 2,180
Reply with quote  #2 
Thank you for this report. It sounds like you had a great activity. We would all love to read updates if you do it again!
"The Admiralty had demanded six ships; the economists offered four; and we finally compromised on eight."
- Winston Churchill

Posts: 70
Reply with quote  #3 
Sounds like your Artemis party was a great success.

I'm anticipating doing the same thing down the road with our youth group.  I think your pitch is a good approach and will try that as well.

Check with the youth to see if any of them took pictures that you are okay posting online.  Would enjoy seeing the setup.

Did you have any paper flyers you gave out to promote the event?

I noticed you had 9 stations but 10 youth.  Did the 10th watch or participate in some way?

I admit I've never tried launching a fighter at warp 3, now I have to give it a try lol. [smile]

Posts: 70
Reply with quote  #4 
Also, I really appreciate the idea about coaches.  I have some folks in mind but they don't have any Artemis experience *yet*.
Cap Naes

Posts: 36
Reply with quote  #5 
It was done as one of a regular weekly activity, so didn't need special promotion - I did do a quick pdf email including a link to a youtube tutorial in case they wanted to come prepared, but I don't think anyone looked at it. We put the 10th person as "first officer," with a handheld data tablet to help out the captain. They didn't really know what to do for a while, but eventually ended up coordinating fighter launches/retrievals, and let's be honest- a lot of yelling at them to get back in the ship, or stop shooting at it. We joked afterwards that next time we should just make them a "bridge security" officer with a computer linked to the router to block offending ip addresses for 5 minutes - a brig of sorts for the unruly. Not exactly naval discipline among the crew, but hey, getting them to see how ineffective they were without it was one of the points of this.

The coaches helped a lot as we ran constantly between stations with tips and reminders (I pondered an initial orientation video, but figured at this age group they would retain little to nothing from that). The 3 of us have only played twice ourselves, but knew enough to get them going.

We will do it again, and I'll take some pics at the next.

Posts: 26
Reply with quote  #6 
I put together a youth group activity using a custom Star Wars Mod I built this summer.  The event includes a detailed Game Master Guide, as well as some evangelistic discussion questions.  Feel free to use it.
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