Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Daily Archives: 28/03/2014

Brynania 2014


It’s that time of year again: on Monday, the week-long Brynania civil war simulation starts at McGill. More than 120 students will spend up to 12 hours a day (and seven months of simulated time) trying to bring peace to this war-torn part of Equatorial Cyberspace.

During that time I’ll be busy monitoring 15,000 or so email messages, and otherwise moderating the simulation—so don’t expect anything new on PAXsims.

You can read more about it here. While you do so, feel free to also listen to some of the many “songs of Cyberia” written by various students over the years about the people and places of this beautiful and terrible land…

Qual Rexton’s Greatest Hits (mp3 format)

Big E & Northside Crew (featuring French E), Rebelz (mp3 format)

Stephanie Butcher, Radio Unity’s Golden Hits(mp3 format)

Brendan Clarke(mp3 format)

Cyberian Frost, Zaharian Mortem (m4a format)

Jenny Woo, Revolution (mp3 format)

The ZPF militants of Camp #6, VIVA VIVA Zaharia  (mp3 format)

Russian Foreign Ministry, Songs of a Brynanian Nomad (YouTube)

American Red Cross conducts “world’s largest refugee simulation”

1920427_697859680266871_1774484826_nThe American Red Cross will be conducting “the world’s largest refugee simulation and conference” on 29-30 March. Although it is now too late to sign up, you’ll find full details here, and their Facebook page here.

“Gaming Political Science” at KSU


John Fliter at Kansas State University has put together an excellent compendium of articles and other materials on the use of serious games in political science:

Welcome to the Gaming Political Science (GPS) archive! The collection consists of over 250 published articles and books and conference papers on the use of simulations, games, and role-playing exercises in political science courses. As the acronym suggests, the goal of this website is to assist political science faculty in guiding students down different avenues of learning in the classroom. Simulations, games and role playing assignments involve the creation of simulated or hypothetical scenarios that provide participants with life-like problem solving experiences. These classroom activities are important supplements to traditional pedagogical methods and they offer a type of laboratory experience not often found in social science and humanities courses.

A wide variety of simulations, games, and role playing activities can be incorporated into political science courses in just about every area. Examples include brief “you decide” problem-solving situations that require only a limited amount of class time, to more sophisticated simulations that cover an entire semester and even some that involve multiple classes at different universities. There are a number of simulation activities that boost student learning outside the classroom as well, including Mock Trial teams, the Global Problems Summit, and Model United Nations.

The GPS archive is designed to be user-friendly. In the left margin, the first section contains pedagogical articles on the challenges and benefits of incorporating active learning exercises in the classroom and how to design these activities to maximize student learning outcomes. Following the general information section, websites and publications have been organized into the various subfields of political science. There may be some overlap to the categories. For instance, an article placed in the International Relations group might describe an activity that can be used in a comparative government course or a reference may be listed in two different subcategories. Most of the references contain a hyperlink to an abstract of the article and a few, if in the public domain, contain the full text.

This project was made possible through the financial support of the Provost’s Office at Kansas State University. I owe a special thanks to my graduate research assistant, Chelsey Eimer, who collected and organized many of these articles, and Julie Fosberg for her technical assistance. Finally, I appreciate the help of Victor Asal, Nina Kollars, Chad Raymond, Amanda Rosen, and Simon Usherwood, who shared material from their short course on simulations and games for the political science classroom.

Please send me your suggestions or comments about the site or contact me if you have a published article or conference paper for the archive. John Fliter, Kansas State University 785-532-0445 (office) 785-320-1468 (cell)

%d bloggers like this: