Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Daily Archives: 22/08/2013

The Humanitarian Crisis Game beta (video overview)

UPDATE: This video portrays an early beta version of AFTERSHOCK: A Humanitarian Crisis Game. For the latest on game development, see here.

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Above you’ll find a video overview of The Humanitarian Crisis Game, a four player boardgame that explores the interagency cooperation needed to address the emergency and early recovery stages of a complex humanitarian crisis. It was meant to be a “brief video,” but apparently I like to hear myself talk.

The game is set in the fictional country of Carana, but is loosely modeled on disasters such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Carana has suffered years of sometimes violent turmoil, and has only recently taken the first steps to tentative steps to national reconciliation and reconstruction. Poverty is widespread, government capacity is weak, and ethnic and political tensions remain high. Nongovernmental organizations and United Nations specialized agencies are active in the country, including a moderately-sized UN civilian police (CIVPOL) contingent.

At dawn today, a powerful earthquake struck the capital city of Galasi, causing widespread destruction of homes and infrastructure. Tens of thousands of people are in need of urgent aid and medical attention. At the request of the Caranan government, military forces from several friendly countries—operating as the multinational Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Task Force, or HADR-TF—are en route to assist, as are additional contingents of UN and NGO personnel, together with relief supplies….

The game design itself is inspired by discussions on Haiti at the Connections 2012 interdisciplinary wargaming conference “Game Lab.”

Next week, following one more playtest at McGill, I’ll post the beta version of the rules and materials to PAXsims. I’ll be also offering a demo at the Connections UK conference ion September 3, and trying it out in the classroom during the 2013-14 academic year.

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