Introduction & Rules
You are going to play members of a local council, wise and honourable townsmen of a small town called Grimfield. However, the times are difficult – it is 1665 and the Great Plague has arrived even at your town. A local tailor has received a bundle of cloth from London. He has been the first one to be infected and he is under the care of a plague doctor (to find out more about his fate, watch the intro to the game below). There has been a fierce discussion but a major decision has been made. The town will be locked down and quarantined – no one is allowed to leave. Hopefully, this measure might help contain the plague within your walls and other towns and villages in your region might be spared this terrible disease. It is clear that times are going to be harsh for a while and difficult decisions are yet to be made. In fact, you are going to be the people responsible for them.
There will be several issues to be discussed throughout the session (speaking part). A majority is needed to get the chosen decision through and then (and only then) your townsfolk will carry out your will. Where will your choices lead? Will the plague spread or will you contain it within the town? At what cost?
This webpage will help you get familiar with the age, your town and the enemy you are facing - the plague. Try to imagine it is 1665 and the times were a bit different after all, so try to get in the role. Nevertheless, one thing is different in our game – women are welcome to be part of the local government, which would be highly unusual for that time.
You are going to face moral and ethical dilemmas and you cannot hide or try to avoid them - you need to decide! Get emotional or be rational. Use your intuition, empathy or cold logic - it is up to you. Enjoy the game!
This is where your story starts…
Check before you are done with this (pre-speaking) part of the activity:
- I know the rules and I know how the story started.
- I am at least partially familiar with the period when the game is set.
- I know my town and I know who the important people are (including me - think about the role you would like to play).
- I know what people in those days knew about the plague.
- I have checked useful phrases for debating.
- I have checked the vocabulary, I understand the words, I can pronounce them and use them in spoken interaction.