About the game and its goals

The quest to be rich and equal is set in the newsroom of the biggest newspaper in the cold and mountainous country of Norway. The editor of this digital newspaper wants to make a series of stories where the journalists focus on how wealthy and equal all the people in Norway are. The journalists are to make video-articles, podcast or text which portrays different people from different socio-cultural societies in Norway, and to show how equal and rich, everyone in this country is.

The game is intended primarily for higher education students; however, there is no age limit for playing. Students do not need any pre-exiting knowledge, except basic English language skills.

The characters are creating multimodal articles about how equal and rich everyone in Norway is. Some of the characters will be journalist that are to interview different Norwegians from different social settings. The other characters will be Norwegians with different socio- cultural backgrounds, who have different «personal quests» that will be challenged during the game.

Our game rewards communication and collaboration, in addition to creativity. The journalist will need to collaborate with the Norwegian interview subject to be able to solve the quest. The Norwegian needs to collaborate with the journalist to be able to solve his/ her personal quest. They both will need to be creative and tolerant to solve their quests.

Learning goals achieved through playing the game:

  • Students increase their general knowledge about Norwegian contemporary culture and society.
  • Students practice and develop communication skills in English.
  • Students practice and develop intercultural awareness and tolerance for differences: different perspectives and points of view, observation, empathy.
  • Students improve their decision-making skills and increase their ability to take practical and effective actions, etc.
  • Students practice and develop collaboration skills in English.
  • Students practice and develop reflective thinking skills.
  • Students practice and develop their creativity.

Rationale: Norway is one of the world’s richest countries, and people think all Norwegians are rich. This is also part of the set of ideas Norwegians have about themselves and what it means to be Norwegian. From a monetary point of view, this is possibly true, compared to many other countries. But, according to this view, wealth is something purely to do with materialistic values. We would like our students to reflect upon what wealth is, and other avenues of wealth, other than one’s income. Can one for instance have low materialistic wealth and still be rich in other values? And visa versa. The game also addresses the media and the idea of the truth, and the ability to evaluate resources online, as well as the use of didactic drama in the classroom (for our teacher students). We will make a set of instructions and accompanying “props” in both English and Norwegian, in order to facilitate possible use in all courses we provide.

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The roleplaying game is made for up to 30 players. Preferably in equal numbers, but odd numbers are possible as well. Some of the players will be journalists; the others will be interviewees. There is a person in charge (the teacher) who has both the role of the editor and the gamemaster. The gamemaster will have a prop, which will easily identify for the players when he/she changes roles. The players need to keep their phone with them, and nothing else (leave their back packs, etc).


The game takes place in a newspaper called “The Daily Click Bait”. The editor is extremely ambitious and wants his/her newspaper to be the leading in the country. The editor is both feared, hated and adored by the journalists who work for the newspaper. The main competition is another newspaper called “The Sunday Truth”. The previous day, the competing newspaper wrote in their editorial about how Norway is not as rich as we may think. That we may have economic wealth, but that that is not the only parameter on which to evaluate wealth. The editor of our newspaper is very annoyed by this and disagree with the views expressed in the editorial. Now the editor wants his journalists to make an online special on the issue, disproving the claims set forward by the rivalling newspaper.

The editorial newsroom of a newspaper: The journalists will sit at their desks, in an open office space. At the far end of the room, we see the editor’s desk (larger and nicer looking than the other desks). His/her desk is clearly marked as “Editor’s desk” and filled with trophies and prizes; the Pulitzer taking pride of place. In one corner of the room, there is a break area, with coffee and tea making facilities and cookies/fruit, etc. In the middle of the room there is a large meeting room table with chairs around it. The logo of the newspaper is on the wall behind the editor’s desk. There is a large digital clock in the room (computer screen/projector, can be operated by the gamemaster). There is also a board/flip over, used to give today’s agenda. It says “Tuesday: Morning meeting 09:00” on the board, and the clock is 08:45 (or, possibly 08:50) on the digital clock when they enter.

The waiting room: In an adjoining room, another group of people will be gathered. They are the interviewees. They will get characters that for varying reasons have different views on what it means to be rich and wealthy in life. They will each get a prop they need to keep with them, giving them an identifying trait. The room will be set up as a waiting room, with sofas/chairs, a coffee/tea area, and some refreshment (cookies, fruit, etc.). There will be a box of props, as well as a set up for the character cards to be drawn.

The game

The game consist of seven stages.
Click on the stage to find out more.

Stage 1: Pre game

Scaffolding: The students/players are gathered in a normal classroom by the teacher (game master). The teacher explains that we will play a game, and what it is about. The teacher outlines what will happen in the game (the different stages).

Set building: The students have to build the set and prepare the rooms that will be used for the game. They get different task, for instance rearranging the desks in the room in order to set up the news room, set up the coffee break area, make the waiting room, make signs for the newsroom and the waiting room, etc.

“Hot seat”: Hot Seating is a strategy in which a character or characters, played by the teacher or a student, are interviewed by the rest of the group. This activity invites students to recount a specific event, explore motivation and multiple perspectives/experiences related to a theme, topic, event, or idea.

In this game, the teacher will take the hot seat, as the editor, and let the students ask questions. The students are placed in a circle around the editor. The purpose is to set the tone for the editor character and what he/she expects from the game. The teacher needs to play the role and use the “editor prop”, as well as wear a wrist watch and have the bag mentioned earlier. The hot seat session ends with the following:

The editor (has the bag with the green and red pieces of paper with him/her; checking his/her watch): ”Oh, for f***’s sake! It 08:45! Look, pick a piece of paper from this bag. One each! Green ones: you’re journalists! The rest of you; get out! Waiting room! Now! Shoooo!! (points to the waiting room). Shouts as they leave the room: “Don’t bloody touch anything in there!!”

Stage 2: Start of game

The editor tells the students who are left in the room that they are the journalists and that they should sit down, one person at each desk. They should sit down at random, there is one desk per person. On each desk there will be character information (a press card), a copy of the newspaper and information on how to find the online newspaper, a task instruction, a journalist’s notebook and a pencil (the information pack for the journalists). They are told to read the information they find there, and go online to have a look at the newspaper there. The online version of the newspaper is made by using padlet.com. The students can upload their own “news pieces” here later on in the game. The newspaper needs to be prepared ahead of time, and look like a proper newspaper. The editor leaves the room when all the students har sat down and open their packs.

The editor enters the waiting room, but as the game master (so removes the editor prop). In the waiting room, the game master organises the character draw for the interviewees. They each draw one piece from each of the eight categories, as well as a personal goal. Together, this makes up the character traits of their role. They are told that the personal goal is very important to them, and that they will get to know how it goes later on today. They are told to take a picture of their nine pieces of paper and keep it with them for future reference. They also pick one of the props available, based on what feels right for their character. There are as many props as there are students. If there are more than one person wanting one prop, they have to discuss amongst themselves who would be the most appropriate character for that particular prop. Before the game master leaves, he/she tells them to come up with a name and age for their character, as well as think about “who they are”, life story, etc. They will also be told that they will be brought in to be interviewed very soon, and that they have to bring their prop and their phone with them.

The game master leaves the waiting room and enters the newsroom as the editor (uses the editor prop again).

Stage 3: interview: round 1

The editor (comes barging in to the newsroom, exactly at 09:00, very angry. Yelling and shouting to the journalists): Bloody hell, it’s 09 o’clock! Why aren’t you doing anything?? Get over here! (goes to a meeting room table in the newsroom).

The editor holds the morning meeting with the journalists. He/she gives them the assignment. He/she tells them that he has gathered a group of people that he met on his way to work in the reception. The journalists are told that they will be paired up with an interviewee each. Their instruction letter will say which person they will be paired with (look for the correct object/prop carried by the interviewees). The editor hands out interview guide 1 to each of them, and them to “get a bloody move on!! Chop, chop! You don’t have all day! Go back to your desks and read what I just gave you! I’ll go and get the interviewees, make sure you know who you’re going to interview!”

The editor leaves the newsroom and goes to the waiting room to bring the interviewees into the room. He/she brings them into the coffee break area of the newsroom, and yells to the journalists to “come and get your interviewees, for God’s sake! Get a move on! Start interviewing immediately!”

The journalists get up, find the interviewee with the prop corresponding to the one described in their instruction. They take their interviewees with them and start the first phase of the interview. They can use the interview guide given to them by the editor earlier. This is only the first interview guide (and crucially, as far as the players know, the only one at this point in the game). The digital clock on the board will gradually move towards lunch time. The teacher is in the room, as the editor, overseeing the game play and operating the digital clock.

Stage 4: “Lunch break”, randomisation

The digital clock is showing 12:00.

The editor (looking at his/her watch, yelling): Hey, it’s lunch! Interviewees, please go to the waiting room! Now!

The editor gets up, tells the journalists to go over to the coffee break area. The editor leaves one paper with interview guide 2 on each desk, after they have got up. The editor says, while leaving the room: “I’ve been walking around, listening to your interviews…appalling…so I have prepared a new interview guide for you! I’m leaving one on each desk. I suggest you read in the break…We wouldn’t want to be unprepared now, would we?? Maybe you could learn from each other as well, who knows??”

The editor leaves the newsroom, enters the waiting room as game master.

The game master tells the players in the waiting room that they will get to know the outcome of their personal goals. On their personal goal card, there is a code word. They are asked to send a text message with this word to a specific number. They will get an automatic reply, telling them whether they have been successful at achieving their goal or not. In order to do this, the game will have an app (either an already established messaging service, or code a new one specific for this game). They will also draw the last four characteristics for their role. They need to take a picture of these four new ones as well. The game master leaves the room, telling them that the lunch break is over soon, and that they will be brought back into the room again soon. So, they need to think about what the result of the personal goal, as well as the four new characteristics, mean for their character. Told they are free to discuss with each other during the lunch break.

Stage 5: Interview: round 2

The editor comes back into the room, talks with the journalists for five min. The teacher can use this opportunity to assess how they are doing, give hints and pointers if necessary (in the role of the editor, of course).

The editor goes to his/her desk and changes the digital clock. The digital clock shows 12:20. The editor gets up, realising the lunch break is over. Yells a little at the journalists about this, leaves the room, and brings the interviewees back in. Yells a little about the deadline, they better get back to work! Reminds the journalists to use the second interview guide.

The journalists bring their interviewees back to their desks, and continue the interviews, this time using the second interview guide. The digital clock is moving towards 13:30. The editor is in the room, overseeing the game play.

Stage 6: Making of news piece

The digital clock is 13:30.

The editor gets up from the desk abruptly, yells that the deadline is close! Tells them to get started on the news piece (video/podcast/picture story). Reminds them of the deadline. It needs to be online at 15:00!!Come on, people!! Remember, I will award those who gets the most likes/clicks on their news piece. And I will fire those who break the deadline!!

The players cooperate (in the journalist/interviewee pairs) to make a video/podcast/picture story, based on the interview. They upload the news piece on the online newspaper, in accordance with the instructions given to the journalists in their information packs at the start of the game.

Stage 7: Post game

The digital clock shows 15:00.

The game stops. Everyone steps out of their roles. Everyone goes online and logs on to the online newspaper. Each player gets two votes, and votes for the news pieces they like the best.

Post-game discussion/reflections:

  • The online newspaper needs to be up on the board

Suggested topics for discussion:

  • Who won? Who got the most likes/clicks? Why? Discuss their choices throughout the game.

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Didactic discussion:

  • game play, tools of drama, scaffolding, progression, the staging, etc.
  • The use of digital technology. What choices do you make? How to build a virtual reality. Ethics
  • The use of drama in the classroom. In what subjects?
  • The ethics of using drama as a didactic tool with children. Did they touch upon something personal during the game play? Education for all, universal access, special education. Drama used as a moralistic tool. Can the children open up too much?
  • Were they able to participate? Were they able to identify with their character? Which was easier, being journalist or interviewee? Would you be able to “play” the role of editor?

Discussion of game content:

  • media, critical thinking, evaluating sources of information, fake news, rhetoric, intellectual property, the right to privacy, the use of video, voice and picture, SoMe
  • What is wealth? What does it mean to be rich? Can wealth be more than materialistic values? National self-esteem, what does it mean to be Norwegian? What symbolic values constitute what we see as “Norwegian”? Is the fact that Norway is a rich country a prerequisite for us having the ability and “luxury” to ask the question “Are there other kinds of wealth other than money?” in the first place?

Player characteristics:

Click on the blue text to read more about player characteristics.


The interviewees get their personal characteristics in two stages. They also have a personal goal/quest. The interviewees will draw characteristics (different coloured pieces of card board) from eight different categories during stage one, as well as their personal goal. They also need to come up with a name for their character, and their age (first and last name, not their own. Age that is relevant to their character). In stage two, they will draw characteristics from four more categories, as well as get to know the outcome of their personal goal (see under “start of game” and “lunch break” above). The interviewees should take a photo on their phone of all their characteristics, and keep it with them for future reference throughout the game.

    Characteristics and personal goals, stage 1 (start of game):
  • Sexuality: hetero sexual, not hetero sexual
  • Number of children: 0, 1, 2, 3
  • Relationship status: single, living with your partner, married
  • Where you live: in a city, in the countryside
  • Occupation: employed, not employed
  • Income: 300 000 NOK, 500 000 NOK, above 700 000 NOK
  • Ethnicity: European, non-European
  • Education: Upper secondary school, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or above

    Personal goals:
  • Adopt a child
  • Make as much money as possible
  • Get a new job
  • Stay fit and healthy
  • Focus on spirituality
  • Buy a house
  • Help others/start doing charitable work
  • Climb the class ladder
  • Get over a difficult family history
  • Travel more
  • Have a child
  • Start a new education/career
  • Start your own business
  • Find a new partner
  • Inherit the family farm
  • Recover from addiction

    Characteristics stage 2 and outcome of personal goals (lunch break):
  • Personal network: you have a large network, you have a small network
  • Health: you have good health, you have bad health
  • Spirituality: you are religious, you are not religious
  • Personality traits: traditional/conservative, radical/rebellious, curious, low selfesteem, generous, neurotic, carefree

Personal goals: the players will get to know whether or not they achieve their personal goal in life during the lunch break (see under lunch break for a description of how this is done).


The journalists will have a press card, with information on their character (only based on their vocational preferences/experience). The cards will be placed on the desks as part of the information pack for the journalists. As they will sit down at random desks, the assignment of characters will be random.

Information on the press card (one of each on each card):

    Characteristics and personal goals, stage 1 (start of game):
  • Type of journalist: sport, news, politics, commerce, culture, fashion, celebrities, research, education and science, environment, technology, cars and motor, real estate, finance, food and heath, children and childhood.
  • Experience:has just started working in the newspaper, just graduated as a journalist, got fired from your last job, got the job because you know the editor, want to start your own newspaper, you’re a famous journalist, you are quite good at your job.

Editor/game master:

The teacher/the person in charge. He or she does not take part in the playing, but is in charge of the game play and making sure everything goes according to schedule. He/she needs to have a prop/trait, which clearly distinguishes for the players when he/she is the editor and when he/she is being the game master.

Read the whole document

The game was prepared at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL), Norway.