Once more, we ask you to create this Discussion entry centered on portraying your character from the University of Mars game, this time based on themes and story elements from Unit 4. Throughout the game’s lessons and story, we have viewed our Universe at ever-widening scales — from the familiar everyday human-scale objects and phenomena, out to planets, stars, galaxies, and the Universe overall, … and also all the way down to microscopic “extremophile” organisms, atoms, and sub-atomic-scale fundamental particles. We covered how the Universe began, the various stages in the formation of the matter we see, and how the general shape and structure of galaxies and clusters came about. The curious character “Lerpz” also likes to point out along the way just how amazing and significant it is that we are able to study and understand such things, but also recognizes that personal lives and perspectives — hopes, dreams, causes — are also important. In the closing scenes of the game’s story, your avatar and “University of Mars” classmates Linassa & Fabian are each presented with a choice by “Lerpz”: Whether any of them would like to join the “Lerpz Collective,” a vast network of virtual consciousnesses potentially spanning their entire universe. The benefits include seemingly limitless reach — to observe, or even influence; the potential downsides include a loss of a sense of one’s identity (although not necessarily permanent, such as in Linassa’s example), and the likely difficulty of ever returning to a life like you knew before. Your companions each give their own responses to Lerpz’ offer, stating their individual reasons, and then your avatar is presented with the question. As this Discussion references story elements from the game’s Epilogue, naturally we’d recommend you complete the University of Mars game through the end before working on this assignment. If you have already completed the game but want to remind yourself of how the Epilogue played out, you can re-open your game (“Continue”) and press the [P] key to open the in-game Pause Menu; there, click on the “Repeat a Lesson” option; then, click “Epilogue” (assuming the Repeat a Lesson menu opens directly to the “Unit 4” tab as shown along the bottom of the window). Consider Lerpz’ offer — an invitation to join the Lerpz’ collective mental network (and gain access to their capabilities). Might you accept, or decline? Whether you think you would accept or decline, give reasons for your choice. Linassa (who accepts) and Fabian (who declines) each give their reasons, representing but two of many possible perspectives. Even if your choice overall matches one of theirs, your own reasons can certainly be very different.
Note that the answer and reasons you present in your Discussion entry here do not have to match whatever dialogue choice you made while playing the game; feel free to change things up. This does not have to represent your actual personal views, unless you wish to do so. You are also free to make something up just for the purposes of role-playing the character in the game. Some possible ideas, for if you decide to accept Lerpz’ offer… What is it that you hope to gain from joining the Lerpz Collective? What would you like to do — with your new access to knowledge and potential ability to influence things at grand scales? Is there anything you would want to do first, to prepare (before joining)? — e.g., finish anything yet undone, say farewells, etc. Do you think you would ever want to return to your human life? — e.g., for an extended time, or drop in to visit, etc. Some possible ideas, for if you decide to decline Lerpz’ offer… What about your human life could you not bear to leave? Even though you are playing the part of your avatar in the game, you can use elements from your own life and interests — or you can make something else up. What might you rather do, instead? Again, this can, but does not have to be, based on something in your own life. The “Lerpz” you meet in the game decided to leave the collective, and try out life as an individual for a while. They wished to visit Earth. Is there anything you would suggest they do? — like, suggest some “bucket list” ideas
Would you give them any advice, etc.? What you create and submit for this assignment could be in the form of writing, or of a short audio or video recording of yourself speaking. If you make a written submission, it should be at least 500 words in length (for reference: these instructions for the assignment are about 500 words); a recording should be at least 3 minutes long. (try to keep to a maximum of about 800 words or 5 minutes in length) This assignment submission page accepts a few different formats, so you can choose which you would like. Feel free to be creative! This assignment does not expect you to do any extra research; you can refer to the topics covered already in the game. For full credit, your submission must… Meet the 500 – 800 word limit, or 3 – 5 minutes in the case of a video or audio recording; Present your response to an offer like “Lerpz” gives to the University of Mars students at the end of the game’s story — with your reasons, and other thoughts. Again: this does not have to represent your actual personal views; you can make something up just for your avatar in the game. Be interesting or entertaining for the reader or viewer, indicating that original thought and effort went into it.