Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

A Force More Powerful

One example of a simulation development platform that attempts to model politics, social structures, economics, and physical environment is offered by the Modeling and Simulation Builder for Everyone by BreakAway. One application of this is “A Force More Powerful,” the player’s manual and resource guide for which can be found here.

A screenshot from "A Force More Powerful."A Force More Powerful – the Game of Nonviolent Strategy is the first and only interactive teaching tool in the field of nonviolent conflict. Developed by The International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), media firm York Zimmerman Inc. and game designers at BreakAway Ltd., the game is built on nonviolent strategies and tactics used successfully in conflicts around the world.

Featuring ten scenarios inspired by history, A Force More Powerful simulates nonviolent struggles to win freedom and secure human rights against dictators, occupiers, colonizers, and corrupt regimes, as well as campaigns for political and human rights for minorities and women. The game models real-world experience, allowing players to devise strategies, apply tactics and see the results.

Another effort to simulate regime overthrow was the 2004 Mac game Republic: the Revolution, which I have played after picking it up this Christmas from a bargain bin. Republic: the Revolution has some interesting gameplay features (players recruit supporters, form cells, propagandize, intimidate, bribe, rally, and generally attempt to overthrow a post-Soviet dictator), but I found both the game and simulation value rather limited, in part because of rather poor AI directing the government and other opposition factions. The awkward interface and apparent stability problems didn’t help either.

One response to “A Force More Powerful

  1. Gary Milante 07/03/2009 at 7:06 pm

    I’ve ordered this, Rex, so look for a review soon.

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