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Universal Ethics > Stories and Games > Bumper Cars

Bumper Cars


Cars driving to daily activities...


Shopping Centre
Work Home
Recreation Park

Legend

Bumper Car
Two or more cars colliding; appears momentarily until they separate.
Your own specially marked car that you use when you play.
The Bump marker that appears when you get bumped out of the game.

How to Play

Bumper Car Land has drivers who like to visit the various places shown at the edge of the board. They each pick a border destination according to their whim, and when they get there they pick another. Sometimes they run into each other, but it does them no harm; they just get pushed off in another direction. A tally of their collisions will be shown at the top of the grid.

If you want to play too, click on any empty space, and your specially marked car will be put there. To move it, click an empty space next to it (above, below, or to either side). Try to go to any destination you wish without any cars hitting yours.

Your car is more fragile than the others. If you get hit, a "bump" symbol will appear and you will be bumped out of the game. (Don't worry though, you can get back into the game any time by clicking an empty square.)

The object of the game: just to drive around visiting the various sites and to do it as long as you can without getting hit.

Some things to think about

Do you think these cars are following any traffic rules, or do they just head off blindly wherever they want to go?

If you were in charge of the government of Bumper Car Land, what traffic rules could you make so that each driver can get to their destination more easily, without the risk of being bumped?

What if there were more cars, or if they went faster: could you still get where you want to go?

How happy do you suppose residents of your town or village would be if people in their real cars behaved like these drivers?

Suppose that these bumper cars are driven by little children who know nothing about traffic rules. If they are told to avoid bumping, do you think they could figure out some traffic rules on their own (without being told what rules to follow)? Hint: To see how a rule can emerge, check out the Emergence of a Rule computer simulation.


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Copyright Arthur de Leyssac, 2014, all rights reserved.