Presenting Choices:

What’s your future, history?

Presenting Choices is an interactive game which will allow you to roleplay through scenarios taken from various points during the 20th century. It is focused on moments when scientific, technological or medical innovation had a particularly clear impact on social, cultural and political life, and it makes it possible for you to participate (virtually) in historical decisions as to whether to try to adopt, adapt or repulse such influences. If you were in charge of deciding where to site the UK’s first nuclear power station, or whether to televise the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, what would you do? And what consequences (foreseeable or not!) would follow?

 

As you play through different scenarios, you will be given opportunities to have your say on the nature of the choices you’re being given, or to offer suggestions as to alternative or complementary scenarios/events for exploration. Please feel free to comment – we value your thoughts and expertise. The purpose of our research is, in fact, to find out how people evaluate, criticise, engage with and (sometimes) reject expert knowledge – and your suggestions will not only help us improve the game, but (we hope) will also help us improve how we teach, write and think about the history of science.

 

All suggestions will be recorded anonymously and will be kept confidential: only members of the project team will be allowed to see them. Although providing details on your age bracket and occupation (since we are interested in the potential source of your own expertise) will be optional, these details will not be used to identify publicly any particular suggestions or comments. Since we don’t know who you are, we won’t be able to provide you with personal feedback on the outcome of this research, but the project blog (http://unsettlingscientificstories.co.uk/blog) will keep you informed on how the game is evolving and the influence it has over our work. The blog will also warn you when all raw data will be deleted – six months after this project’s public funding ends.

 

Please note that some scenarios may contain themes that might be distressing to some players. As a result of this, you will shortly be asked to confirm that you are over 18 and that you know that you can stop playing the game at any time. We will also include helplines and other sources of support within storylines where that is appropriate.

 

This research is being conducted by Dr Amanda Rees and Dr Sam Robinson of the Sociology Department at the University of York. If you have questions regarding the project, please contact Professor Paul Johnson, the Head of Department (paul.johnson@york.ac.uk), or the relevant University ethical committee (elmps-ethics-group@york.ac.uk) who will be pleased to respond to your concerns. You are also welcome to email the project directly (unsettling-science@york.ac.uk).

 

We hope you enjoy playing the game – and we look forward to reading your comments!

 

I understand that I can stop playing this game at any time, that all data is recorded anonymously and that I am over 18