The World Peace Game™, a highly interactive, hands-on political simulation, has arrived in New Zealand, and the very first game has clearly shown how creative, collaborative and responsible young people can be when they are in an environment that encourages such skills.
The game has been developed and refined over many years by John Hunter, an award-winning gifted teacher and educational consultant, and Journey to Brilliance founder Janet Nicol has been personally trained as a facilitator. She helped 25 students aged 11 to 13 grapple with complex philosophical issues, negotiating, collaborating and refining their communication skills to meet the goal of the game – world peace. Students came from a variety of educational environments, with players from Medbury School, Seven Oaks, Tamariki and homeschoolers. The game was played over a total of 18 hours across a three-week period.
Players assumed roles such as Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister of Defence and even a ‘weather goddess’, across four separate nations. Each player received a Crisis Report, containing 25 pre-ordained economic, political, and environmental crises to solve, and a secret dossier to record their budgets, inventory, income and costs. New crises were added along the way as a consequence of aggressive actions and the vagaries of nature. Crises included military threats, water shortages, underwater mining rights, drone attacks, health epidemics, global warming, stock-market collapse, species extinction, nuclear weapon threats and tsunamis.
While the students began the game by mimicking actions they have witnessed on the world stage – attack and reprisal – as the consequences of their actions emerged, they started to think for themselves and make choices that led to solutions rather than more crises. After 17 hours and 53 minutes – with just seven minutes to go – they were victorious. All crises had been solved and all nations had more money than they started with. World peace had been achieved through goodwill, good communication and cooperation.
Feedback from students and parents has been overwhelmingly positive. Parents commented on high levels of enthusiasm and engagement and how their kids couldn’t stop talking about what they had learned. Students talked about how challenging the game was and how much they enjoyed working through the initial confusion to arrive at their own amazing outcome through persistence, engagement and cooperation.
Comments from the players included:
- “Communication is vital”
- “It was like real life”
- “It wasn’t just pen and paper, it was mostly real negotiation”
- “We had to really think about the consequences of our actions”
With such a strongly-felt, meaningful learning experience, we know that the lives of all participants will have been deeply touched.
If you are interested in finding out more about the World Peace Game™, visit <a href=”http://worldpeacegame.org” target=”_blank”>worldpeacegame.org</a> or email us at <a href=mail to:”email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>