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The neotribal vision of The Fifth World owes everything to Michael Green’s Afterculture exhibit. This game constitutes my best effort to share the experience I had the first time I saw his work.





Video Games


Graham Walmsley’s Play Unsafe: How Improvisation Can Change The Way You Roleplay and Jesse Burneko’s writing on playing passionately led directly to many of the purposes and principles of this game. I experimented with many other game ideas along the way, and I owe a great deal to all the game designers who helped me, in particular Bill White, Rob Bohl, and Joshua A.C. Newman.

I owe a deep debt of gratitude to the following people who have offered such generous help and support throughout this project: Peter Michael Bauer, Jeffrey Collyer, Pete Figtree, Grey Knight, Doug Hagler, Kristin Hunt, Jeff Johnston, Willem Larsen, Bill Maxwell, Kathryn Miller, Michael Miller, Joli St. Patrick, Daniel Solis, George Steel, Brennan Taylor, Steve Thomas, Matt Weber, Michael Wenman, and Rix White.

Thank you to the people behind Double Exposure, the Indie Games Explosion, and GASP, for providing me the space to experiment with this game so often.

Of course, I owe a great deal, too, to those intrepid individuals who dared to sit down to an alpha playtest version of this game as I worked through far more versions than I’d care to admit. To Rishi Agrawal, Jonathan Bagelman, Rob Bohl, Rob Bush, Matthew Campbell, Rob Donoghue, Michael Godesky, Doug Hagler, Tim Harper, Ian Hollander, Jeff Hoskinson, Matt K., Brian Kline, Robert Laedlein, Giulianna Lamanna, Matt Landis, Willem Larsen, Kathy Mack, Jordan Mechano, Todd Moular, Joshua A.C. Newman, Alex Pla, David Porter, Cory Scanlan, Daniel Solis, Neal Tanner, Joanna Walmsley, Matt Weber, Nick Wedig, Lilith White, Bill White, Jennifer Wong, Wayne Wyant, Jane Wyant, and Sarah Wygant: thank you. I know that I need to add a good many other names to this list. I’ve playtested this game for many years, and I did not always keep the careful notes that I should have. If you playtested The Fifth World and don’t see your name here, please let me know so I can fix that.

To my wife Giuli and my brother Michael: thank you.