Oliveira A., Cortes I., Shand L., Matharu N.
A GAME OF COOPETITION The intrinsic human need to explore, discover, and conquer new frontiers saturates every domain, from sports to science. By far the most daunting of these domains, whether material, physiological, or intellectual, is interstellar space. Although still at least 100 years away from viable commercial space travel to Mars, the entities with the means to drive this pursuit remain vigilant despite popular wisdom. It is a pursuit that requires a non-zero-sum game, a Systems Thinking perspective of global cooperation and mutual gain. Technology, policy, and social advancements born out of space travel may provide the answers to some of Earth’s most pressing problems. The challenge has been to inspire the vast majority of people to look upwards again after decades of fixation on the current world condition. Media and entertainment play significant roles in influencing attitudes and world views, and games in particular can offer ways to explore complex multidimensional ideas in simple and fun ways. By combining gaming and systems concepts, Interstellar, explores the social and ethical plateaus that challenge our evolution toward a unified space-going species through a compelling multiplayer board game. By balancing the causal, and contradictory, relationships between military, civilian, commercial and scientific interests, the game lets players explore the dynamics between cooperation vs competition, and their effects on advancing civilization into Space.