Simulations and games can be highly effective in helping to teach students about politics and war – but often suffer from oversimplification, a lack of clear purpose or insufficient time to explore issues meaningfully.
These were among the views put forward at a workshop – held at the University of Westminster earlier this month – on the use of games to model everything from the effects of a global pandemic to last year’s London riots.
Simon Usherwood, senior lecturer in politics at the University of Surrey, opened the event by exploring “the problems of making simulations work”.
He said it was essential to develop an “appropriate level of conflict” so that participants were neither too laid back nor likely to come to blows while acting out, for example, the Middle Eastern peace process.
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