Mon 6 Oct 2008
Written by Jeff
How to Play the Game
Here is how the game might work. All you need is a computer with a browser and an Internet connection:
Divide the group into teams of two, three or four people depending on how many people are to be included and the composition of the guest list.
- Navigate to The Ethicist website – http://topics.nytimes.com/top/features/magazine/columns/the_ethicist/index.html
- Note the different episodes/problems presented in date order.
- Click on the title of the first problem.
- Scroll down until you see the podcast box on the left-hand side of the page.
- Click the link for “listen to the Podcast” (mp3)
- The podcast should begin to play in whatever application you have established as your podcast player, i.e. iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc.
Once the problem is completely explained, and before the answer is given (right after the name of the person and location are given), stop the podcast from playing.
Every team should record the following information on a sheet of paper:*
- Is it ethical to do what the query suggests (Yes or No)? Alternatively, what is the ethical action that should have been taken?
- Upon what basis is the above answer given?
- Are there any other considerations?
- Update (this is not always provided, but if it is, can be included) – What do you think the person submitting the query did?
Then play the end of the podcast and score the above answers as follows:
1 point – If the yes or no answer is correct/if the action offered is what is suggested
2 points – if the basis is the same as the Ethicist
1 point – for every consideration mentioned or substantially mentioned in the podcast*
1 point – for guessing the update; if given
* If you know ahead of time that this exercise will take place, printing forms would make this easier, but it is not necessary
** In the event of a dispute, the entire group shall decide if an answer is point-worthy
Each podcast has several quandaries. The game is over after four podcasts and the team that is ahead on points wins. If the game goes over well, play another round of four podcasts. If two teams are tied, continue playing until the tie is broken; “sudden death!” Of course you could also declare the game over when the first team reaches 15; there are no set rules. See what works for you and your guests. We have played games similar to this with groups of adults and have enjoyed them.
Gardening on the Moon, www.gardeningonthemoon.com, originally published this post