In Their Shoes (Historic Tabletop Game)

In Their Shoes is a tabletop roleplaying game set during the 1907 Anti-Asian Race Riots in Vancouver. It was created as a final project in HIST 485 (Asian Migrant Communities in Vancouver) with Dr. Henry Yu in Spring of 2019.

In Their Shoes was designed as an empathy exercise and as a supplement for the K-12 curriculum. It takes place in Japantown during the 1907 Anti-Asian Race Riot in Vancouver, and is based on archival research. This game is meant, in part, to be used alongside the Pivotal Voices teaching documents between the "One hundred years to rant and rave" and "What really happened?" Sections. It can, however, be played recreationally. This tabletop game is designed to be beginner-friendly and accessible. The game mechanics are drawn, primarily, from the Powered by the Apocalypse system (specifically Monster of the Week and Apocalypse World). It is recommended to print out the Character sheets, Mechanics and Moves sheets, and suggested maps ahead of time.

Download the PDF here: In Their Shoes

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Learning Significance

  1. This was one of my first self-directed projects involving archival research. It was definitely a process to find relevant materials from this time period that was not limited to governmental accounts or impacts on finances. In some ways, the hardest part was making a game that was accessible to players who have no experience with tabletop roleplaying. I think this project was a founding element for imagining other projects I have done that focus on accessibility of users outside of academia.