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Fallout Shelter

Classroom role-play exercise based in nuclear holocaust setting. Students are expected to hone their argumentation skills in defending their assigned characters from being left to die
by

Louis Tan

on 25 July 2011

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Transcript of Fallout Shelter

It was over before we even knew it'd begun...
29 Feb 2012
There was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.
It was an absolute wasteland.
We were all doomed...
...or so we'd thought.
*Room for 5 only.
The handbook was informative.
The handbook told us to stay underground for ten years.
The handbook told us we needed to leave someone behind.
1) The Mayor
Age: 51

IQ: 113

Talent: Administration
The mayor took charge. Despite having just lost her family - including her three teenage children - she was remarkably composed.

"We need to discuss this in a civilised manner," she said. "Let's focus on what we'd need to survive underground for a decade, as well as what we'd need ten years later when we come back up to the surface."
2) The Scientist
Age: 35

IQ: 135

Talent: Scientific knowledge
3) The Office Girl
Age: 20

IQ: 96

Talent: Typing
The scientist concurred. "The radiation outside should have fallen below lethal levels in a decade, and we would need all the help we can get in rebuilding our community."

Although nobody mentioned it, everyone was painfully aware that she was the very same person responsible for the quandary they were in.

Her carelessness with the bithermal fusion reactor had led to the disaster.
The office girl remained quiet. She knew she didn't have much to offer in terms of practical skills, but within her lay a new life - perhaps the first birth in her now-desolate country, ever since that fateful day.
Age: 64

IQ: 126

Talent: Medicine
The doctor was already thinking about how he could convince the rest to let him stay. He had never been a family man, and wasn't the most altruistic of persons.

His self-centredness had not been unnoticed by the others. Having observed the way he acted around them, the others weren't too sure if he could be counted on to help them when required.
Age: 26

IQ: 102

Talent: Construction
The construction worker did pushups in a corner as the others mulled the issue. He wasn't stupid, and he knew that he'd need to maintain his physical strength for a decade in order to remain useful to the group.
Age: 15

IQ: 197

Talent: Intellect
The boy genius had astonishing raw potential, and could easily learn every intellectual skill present amongst the group within the next decade.

His intellect came with a price, though. Born with brittle bones, he would not be able to help out with physical tasks in the future.
4) The Doctor
5) The Construction Worker
6) The Boy Genius
Who should be left behind?
It was difficult to decide, but rationality was our greatest ally. We decided to think about it for five minutes before engaging in a proper discussion.

1) What were our needs for the ten years underground?
2) What would our priorities be ten years later, upon emerging?
3) How would each of us have changed after the ten years?

Keeping these points in mind, each of us thought about why we deserved to stay. None of us were saints - all wanted to live.
The Discussion
1) Each person was allowed a 2-minute speech explaining why he/she should not be left to die outside the fallout shelter.

2) After each person had spoken, they were to single out another member from the group and explain why he/she should be left behind.

3) Finally, the highlighted members would be allowed a 1-minute speech to defend themselves and persuade the group that they should stay.
...and so we decided.
Louis Tan, 2010
Full transcript