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The Evolution Game

kgrass's picture

For our presentation, Kristin, Cassie, Laura, and I had the class play an evolution game—with a twist. Three teams were created, with an even amount of forks, knives, and spoons distributed. Two rounds were played, in which people had to collect as many coffee beans using their plastic utensils in a certain amount of time. At the end of the round, the top eight people from each group were able to survive to the next round. Some utensils randomly “died” during the first round as well. After the second round, the two people who collected the most coffee beans in the group “survived”, while all of the other utensils “died”. The twist of the project came at the end, in which literary memes came into play. On all of the utensils, we had written memetic phrases, books, and movies. The most memetic were written on spoons, followed by forks and then knives. The utensils that “survived” were also paired with memes that survived as well!

            On our own time, our team practiced the game and it went a lot more smoothly than with the entire group. I think the time constraint was an issue, as well as the lack of space. What we wanted to convey was a visual representation of both biological and memetic evolution, as well as chance. In one group, a knife was one of the top utensils to collect beans! Our group was not expecting a knife to get that far, but that’s a large part of biological and literary evolution—you don’t always know where it’s heading or what will be successful.

            What I most enjoyed about this project was getting to know the members of my group a little better. We went out to dinner to discuss our project, and we also spent this time telling stories about our own lives. We talked about what we’re interested in, past experiences, and where we want to head in the future. Storytelling is not just about making sense of the world, but making sense of other people and yourself, as well as having trust in the people you are telling. It reminded me of Stone, and how his telling of other people’s stories crushed him when he realized he was not just exposing stories, but other human beings. These people had trusted him enough to share pieces of themselves, and he did not realize how much he had taken advantage of that until it was too late. I’m glad this project helped me break down some of the stories I had learned, as well as learn some new stories from my fellow classmates.    

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