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EVOKE was developed by the World Bank Institute, the learning and knowledge arm of the World Bank Group, and directed by alternate reality game master Jane McGonigal.













Investigate Week Ten

Posted by Alchemy on 05 May under Investigation Files

Want to try your hand at sending an URGENT EVOKE? Discover the secrets of writing your own story. Here’s what a script for an URGENT EVOKE episode looks like. You can use this real EVOKE script as a template for writing your own.

EPISODE 1
TOKYO
The earth moves at different speeds depending on who you are – Nigerian proverb

PAGE 1

PANEL A

The Shibuya Intersection. Sunset. There are fewer people than you would expect to see passing through the intersection area, and the people we do see look sad, weak, and tired. The neon and LED billboards are on. On the largest electronic billboard is a public service announcement about rice rations. It shows a rice bowl, measured with a ruler. (I’ll try to get some Japanese characters to go with this image.) There’s a newsstand in the foreground, off to one side of the frame. Most of the publications are in Japanese, but we can see one English-language headline “Food Shortage Imminent.”

TEXT BOX 1
Tokyo. February 13, 2020

OFF-PANEL 2
You’re certain they exist?

PANEL B

A sunset panorama of Tokyo is spread before the silhouette of the GOVERNOR of Tokyo. His posture indicates that he is deep in thought.

GOVERNOR 1
Because we need real help, not fairy tales. Even with the rationing, we’re only a month away from a famine.

OFF-PANEL 2
Mr. Governor, It’s not just us. Osaka, Kyoto, too. Everyone is down to their final month of rice reserves.

GOVERNOR 3
I cannot let this happen. I will not. Not in my city.

PANEL C
A wide shot of the Governor’s office. The office is large and well-appointed with an impressive desk (and maybe a portrait of the Governor himself). The main feature, though, is the floor-to-ceiling window, and the key light is the setting sun coming through it at an almost horizontal angle. The Governor has turned away from the view and is facing his ASSISTANT, who paces nervously.

ASSISTANT 1
It’s said the network was responsible for saving Lagos after the maize famine of 2017. But they’ve never taken credit. They never do.

GOVERNOR 2
So, if they’re real, how do we get in touch with them?

ASSISTANT 3
You have to send an EVOKE, Mr. Governor.

PANEL D

Close up on the Assistant.

ASSISTANT
It has to come from you.

PANEL E

Close up on the Governor.

GOVERNOR
Show me.

PAGE 2

PANEL A

We see the message sent on the private, encrypted short message network. It is surrounded by a texture of ambient data, and layered on top of a map of Japan and a red locator dot over Tokyo.

MESSAGE TEXT: This is an EVOKE from Tokyo. Urgently require tactical social innovation deployment. Category: Food security.

PANEL B:

TEXT BOX 1
Dakar, Senegal

A high-tech surveillance room. Computer and video screens relay news and images from all over the world. The star display is a digital world map, covered with data. We can see that the message from the previous panel is a small part of this map. In the foreground is ALCHEMY, in silhouette, sitting at a desk with a keyboard, a laptop, and a pencil and paper in front of him. He wears a wireless headset.

INSET PANEL C

ALCHEMY 1 (to himself – he should have a kind of smile when saying this line. He’s looking forward to the challenge.)
Hello, Tokyo.

PANEL D

On one screen we see a picture of Ember, captioned with EVOKE MEMBER CODENAME: EMBER. A touch-screen button underneath her dossier says “ACTIVATE”. Alchemy is pushing it. (this could be broken into two panels, or a main panel and an inset of the action).

PAGE 3

PANEL A

TEXT BOX: University of Legon, Ghana.

A classroom. EMBER is in the middle of a lecture. The lecture hall is full of students, all watching her with rapt attention. In the front row is a student wearing a t-shirt that says “I believe EVOKE is real” in a Helvetica font. Also apparent in the lecture hall are several giant screens, from which still more students watch and listen in rural classrooms. A textbook says “Resilient Logistics”. Each of these next three scenes should be tinted with the color tone of the character. Ember is yellow, so this scene should have a palette that features yellows and golds.

EMBER 1
So if we look at the social problems caused by the mass migrations of 2016 -

INSET PANEL B
A silver phone, something like a next-gen iPhone, on her desk is ringing.

PANEL C

Close up on Ember, looking at the phone.

EMBER
Excuse me, class. We’ll pick up this discussion next week.

PANEL D

Ember picks up the phone and opens the laptop secretively as her class files out. In the background, two students whisper as they leave.

STUDENT 1
What do you bet she pulls another one of her disappearing acts?

EMBER 2
This is Ember.

PANEL E

ALCHEMY 1 (splitscreen him in)
It’s Alchemy. There’s a problem in Tokyo. I’m sending you in.

EMBER 2
Tokyo?!! How am I supposed to keep a low profile in Tokyo?! I don’t exactly pass for a Harajuku girl.

ALCHEMY 3
You’ll have to be creative.

PANEL F

EMBER 1
Is it a food shortage? Citizen X has been posting leaked government memos all over the web.

ALCHEMY 2
Citizen X is an irresponsible and dangerous organization, and I don’t know why you follow them. But yes, it’s a food shortage. And we’re going to fix it.

PAGE 4

PANEL A

TEXT BOX: Bo-Kaap Township. Capetown

We are inside a small fabrication shop. Outside a window in the background, we can see a billboard with the EVOKE logo and the tagline “It could be anyone.” In the extreme foreground is a laser cutter. The color palette for this scene is purple. EUREKA, who was operating the device, has just removed a safety visor from her face. She is talking on a similar silver phone, a laptop open on the desk in front of her. She looks serious, but also excited, energized.

EUREKA 1
Is it just Tokyo, or do they want us to handle the other cities, too?

ALCHEMY 2
We fix Tokyo.

INSET PANEL B

Alchemy in his control room.

ALCHEMY 1
Tokyo will fix the rest.

PANEL C

Back in the workshop. Eureka has a duffle bag in her hand.

ALCHEMY
How soon can you leave?

INSET PANEL D

Close up on Eureka.

EUREKA 1
Give me an hour.

PANEL E

A reverse shot from overhead. Eureka has the duffle in hand. In front of her is a wall bristling with tools of all kinds. The tools range from low-tech (wrenches, hammers, pliers, etc) to super high-tech devices with graphical displays, lasers for topographical maps, RFID sensors, to precision devices like micrometers. The idea is an overwhelming juxtaposition of a variety of tools.

EUREKA 2
I just need to pack up some tools.

PAGE 5

PANEL A

TEXT BOX: The Great Rift Valley, Kenya.

We are outside a busy farm. A simple sign identifies this location as the Happiness Honey Collective. A row of beekeepers tend to hives of honeybees, and we can see greenhouses in the distance. In the distance, workers load palettes of honey jars into a truck. In the foreground is QUINN, standing at a table with his laptop and phone out. A little ways behind him (out of earshot), an associate watches a helicopter visible in the distance. The tint for this sequence is orange.

QUINN 1
How bad is the situation?

ALCHEMY 2
I’m sending you a detailed brief.

PANEL B

Quinn’s laptop screen shows a cascade of data under the heading EVOKE 001285:

A graph showing diminishing national food reserves.
News headline: Pacific fisheries at all-time low, yellow tuna catch lowest ever.
Statistic on malnutrition cases in Tokyo.
Projected mortality rates.
Internal memo on the rice reserves from Tokyo Emergency Resources Dept. – watermarked with “leaked by Citizen X”

OFF-PANEL 1
You know, besides all these problems, Tokyo’s also been generating its own mini greenhouse effect for decades.

PANEL C

ALCHEMY 1
What are you suggesting?

QUINN 1
If we can get enough new plants in the ground, we might solve a few problems at once – feed the people, clean the air, cool the climate.

ALCHEMY 3
Sounds like you’ve got your work cut out for you, Quinn. Good luck.

PANEL D

The helicopter from the previous frame touches down near Quinn. It has the EVOKE logo on it.
PAGE 6

PANEL A

TOKYO. THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE.
A big-screen TV is flashing “INCOMING CALL.”

ASSISTANT 1
It’s for you, sir. It’s him.

GOVERNOR 2
So he really does exist.

PANEL B

ALCHEMY appears on the screen. That is, Alchemy’s digital avatar appears.

ALCHEMY 1
Mr. Governor, this is Alchemy. You are EVOKE number 001285. Are you aware of how we work?

GOVERNOR 2
I’ve only heard the same legends as everyone else.

INSET PANEL C

Let’s see Alchemy’s face for this line.

ALCHEMY 3
And that’s what you’ll keep telling people.

PANEL D

EMBER takes pictures of an empty lot in a residential neighborhood.

OFF-PANEL (maybe in a text box with quotes)
Officially, we don’t exist.

PANEL E

EUREKA works on a 3D model on her computer.

OFF-PANEL (text box, quotes?)
Our specialists will handle your food shortage, but everything is off the books.

PANEL F

QUINN takes soil samples in a park.

OFF-PANEL (text box, quotes?)
You’ll quietly facilitate local resources and access to public land. We’ll provide the imagination.

PAGE 7

PANEL A

EMBER interviews a grocer with a nearly empty store.

OFF-PANEL (text box, quotes?)
When we’re done, the people of Tokyo will have fresh fruits and vegetables every day of the year.

PANEL B

EUREKA making notes at Tokyo Harbor.

OFF-PANEL (text box, quotes?)
We keep a 50% share in the profits. You take all the credit.

PANEL C

QUINN examines trees planted on a street in Harajuku.

OFF-PANEL (maybe in a text box with quotes)
By the time we leave, Tokyo will have thousands of new food security specialists. So next time, you won’t have to send an EVOKE.

PANEL D

A wide shot of Tokyo, looking down from above.

OFF-PANEL 1 (text box? But make clear that this is the Governor speaking, not Alchemy)
When does the team arrive?

PANEL E

A view from even higher up, we start to see the shape of the Japanese landmass.

OFF-PANEL 1 (text box? This is Alchemy speaking again.)
Mr. Governor, we don’t waste time.

PANEL F

We’re at orbital altitude, looking down on the earth and Japan. A small satellite (a cube-sat) is foregrounded above Japan. On it, we see the logo of the EVOKE network.

OFF-PANEL 1
My team is already there.

TEXT BOX
To Be Continued …

5 Responses to “Investigate Week Ten”

  1. Pradip Dey

    Dear Alchemy,
    Good day!
    I am really overwhelmed by the explicitness of the EVOKE. Although we all have gone through the steps, this post has unfolded behind the scene brain of EVOKE.
    Thanks you once again.
    With regards,
    Pradip Dey

  2. Nils Peterson

    Perhaps some authors can make EVOKEs to support Transition Towns http://www.transitiontowns.org/

    TT is an international organization that “starts off when a small collection of motivated individuals within a community come together with a shared concern: how can our community respond to the challenges, and opportunities, of Peak Oil and Climate Change?

    They begin by forming an initiating group and then adopt the Transition Model (explained at website) with the intention of engaging a significant proportion of the people in their community to kick off a Transition Initiative.

    A Transition Initiative is a community working together to look Peak Oil and Climate Change squarely in the eye and address this BIG question:

    “for all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly increase resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?”

  3. Robert B. Lewis

    Season 2 of Evoke should began with a real world scenerio. I find the following topic interesting:

    http://freethehikers.org/ What could EVOKE do to arrange for the release of these and other political prisoners around the World. People are EVOKES biggest resource; technology merely enhances the indivduals talents and skills. We need at least 10 agents in every country on the planet. In order for EVOKE agents to work in complete safety regardless of there governments, non electronic or Courier methods of information transfer must be studied and utilized. In the United States prisoners manage to send messages to members of various gangs (order hits) from there cells in Prison. Terrorist routinely use couriers to transmit and receive paper message in order to escape electronic surveillance. During the cold war the art of the dead drop was perfected. During WWII prisoners used a system of tapping to send coded messages to other prisoners. These techniques need to be studied by EVOKE agents in detail in order for our network to assist individuals around the world. Also lets not forget the older forms of electronic communication like, microburst/morse over High Frequency radio nets. Pirate UHF/VHF stations could be used as well to transmit information. The concept of helping people help themselves should be EVOKES motto.

    http://www.ifrc.org/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_drop

  4. Robert B. Lewis

    This would be a cool tool for EVOKES virtual crisis management support center:

    http://timespace.washingtonpost.com/project/foreign-correspondents

  5. YEH MAKEBE ELVIS

    Thanks a million for this insight.

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