Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

McGill megagame

Each year, PAXsims—together with various McGill University student groups—organizes the McGill Megagame, a full-day crisis simulation involving up to one hundred players.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no McGill Megagame in February 2021 or 2022. We currently have no plans for 2023, although that could change.  Watch this space for future announcements.

For an account of previous year’s games, see these reports at PAXsims:


A mysterious meteor shower has struck the Atlantic coast of North America. Many coastal communities, including parts of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, have been devastated by the resulting tsunami.

Police, fire departments, medical services, municipal workers, Canadian Armed Forces personnel, and the Coast Guard are mobilizing to address the emergency. Roads are damaged. The electrical grid has been shattered. Hospitals are overwhelmed. Survivors are fleeing to safety.

Can local, provincial, and federal officials coordinate an effective response?

Will Atlantic Canada rise to the challenge? And are they prepared for what might now be lurking in the Grand Banks?


The United States is descending into chaos as it is overrun by mindless undead abominations. Can Canada survive the murderous zombie menace from the south? Can Ottawa, Québec, and Ontario overcome their differences in time?

Approximately one hundred participants will assume the roles of federal and provincial politicians, military commanders, local mayors, police and fire chiefs, public health officials, scientists, community leaders, the media, and even local franchisees of a national doughnut chain.

Also, in conjunction with Ottawa Megagames we ran APOCALYPSE NORTH again on 7 March 2020, in the Diefenbunker in Carp (near Ottawa). You will find a full report here:


McGill University’s third annual megagame, DIRE STRAITS, is set in the year 2020. It explores crisis stability in East and Southeast Asia in the context of an unpredictable Trump Admintration, growing Chinese strategic power, and multiple regional crises.

How will the region and the world deal with the challenge of North Korean nuclear weapons? Will China consolidate its hold over the South China Sea? How might relations between Beijing and Taiwan develop if the latter decides to adopt a more independent path? And how will the White House—beset by scandal, factional infighting, and an angry, unpredictable President—respond?

northlandborder.jpg2017: URBAN NIGHTMARE—STATE OF CHAOS 

In 2017, McGill University hosted the Canadian component of the world’s first “wide area megagame”—hundreds of players in eleven cities in five different countries: London, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Leeds, Southampton (UK); Brussels (Belgium); Nijmegen (Netherlands); New York, Austin (US); and, or course, Montréal. With a zombie apocaltpse south of the border, how would “Northland” fare?


The Republic of Binni is wracked by civil war. As President-for-Life Eddie Ancongo clings to office, rival groups of militias and warlords plot to seize power for themselves. Strange cults and radical extremists proliferate. Mercenaries offer their services to the highest bidder. Mineral prospectors and multinational corporations seek profit amidst the conflict. Archaeologists scramble to safeguard valuable artifacts from the ravages of war—or unscrupulously sell them to the highest bidder. Neighbouring countries meddle, seeking to further their own regional interests. The great powers call for peace—but is that what they really want?

2016: NEW WORLD ORDER 2035

It is the year 2035… and it is no longer the Earth that we once knew. Countries around the world face resource shortages, the social and political challenges presented by new technologies, population pressures, migration and refugee crises, and rapidly accelerating global warming—as well as an alarming breakdown of international cooperation.

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