Six Simulations
  1. Coup d'état

  2. In this simulation, participants are divided into three "factions" of the imaginary state of Bergundia - the Central Committee of the Peoples Republic of Bergundia, The Bergundia Modernist Party, and The Clerics Enclave.

    During phase one of the simulation, the different factions must organize themselves according to "party lines" and devise a "platform" and "political stance." During phase one, participants must draw straws with in their groups every five minutes. The player drawing the short straw is considered "dead," and removed from the simulation space.

    At the start of phase two, one or more of the participants become "ciphers" when they draw a slip of paper marked with an "X" from a bag (you will need a bag and slips of paper). These players will now secretly report to the Central Committee, except for original members of the central committee, who will report to either the Clerics Enclave or the BMP, dependant upon a coin flip. These "ciphers" are the only players allowed to communicate with the "dead" that have been eliminated from the primary simulation space.

    In phase three, after more than 50% of the three parties have been randomly eliminated, the "dead" return to the main simulation space. They function as a single political block, and having the new plurality, the "dead" are now in charge of the remainder of the simulation.

  3. Boundary

    Boundary needs a large open area as a simulation ground. Potential spaces include: Decommissioned airbases, dry lake beds, fallow fields, even a frozen lake in winter. The space should be as featureless as possible.

    Traffic hazard cones are placed in a grid pattern over the simulation space at 150-meter intervals. The names of different "resources" are written down on 3x5 cards, such as "oil," "corn," and "software." Place 50% of these resources under 5% of the cones. Most cones should have no resources at all. Players are allowed to wander the field for an hour, but no one is allowed inspect under the cones. At the starting whistle, the participants race across the simulation space looking under the cones and collecting "resources." Players then trade these resources for power, sexual favors, humiliating stunts, and "points" in a "competitive marketplace."

  4. Bloc

  5. Bloc is a long-term simulation played out over a number of months where the participants generate a token "network economy." Because of its longitudinal nature, it can be combined with other simulations, or integrated with ordinary work and study. It could be played out in an office, a think-tank setting, or a medium-sized city.

    The larger the number of simulation participants, the better. Bloc generates exponentially increasing returns with a linear increase in the number of "cips" (simulation participants) because of its networked nature (disease model).

    Bloc starts with three participant categories: Red, Blue, and White. Players are chits of one of these colors at random in sealed envelopes. These chits determine the participants affiliation. Regardless of the size of overall starting population, the simulation begins with a single (1) Red participant and a single (1) Blue participant. White "cips" (participants) are unaffiliated and "value neutral." The Red player represents a totalizing "mythopoetic organization," while the Blue player represents the proponent of worldview based on secular empiricism. White players represent a valuable marketing demographic. Initially, the identity and affiliation of the "cips" is known only to the simulation referees.

    At a prearranged time, the simulation begins. A Red or Blue player can present his (or her) chit to another person in hopes of "recruiting" them. White players are automatically "flipped" to the color of the "recruiter." This new "recruit" will now carry either a chit keyed to the color of the "recruiter." i.e. A Red recruiter approaches two White "cips" at the water cooler at work. He presents his Red chit. The two White "cips" now switch "allegiance" to Red, and are able to recruit other White recruits. If a "recruiter" presents his chit to a non-participant ("noncip"), there is no penalty, but the "noncip" can be invited to participate in the next round of the simulation. It is illegal to add non-participants to the simulation.

    In the case of presenting an allegiance chit to a competing Organization ("Org"), this is referred to as "programming." There must be a greater number of recruiters than "resisters." For instance, if a single Red recruiter presents his chit to a single Blue player, the result is a stalemate. However, the affiliation of the "cips" is now known to both parties. An example of a successful "reprogramming" would be if two Blue "cips" approached a single Red "cip." Thus, a network ecology is created where "cips" can "attack and appropriate" new recruits.

    As the simulation progresses, cips can wear shirts and other articles of clothing to continually display their allegiance, creating enclaves and other "safe areas." Hint: A large body of "cips" openly brandishing their allegiance chits would be a force to be reckoned with.

    The simulation is over when the leadership of a particular "Org" believes it has converted all simulation participants and presents the referees with a roster. If the roster is not complete, 50% of the "Org's" membership reverts to White status, selected at random.

    There is no scenario under which the Whites can win.

  6. Disaster!

  7. Disaster! is played out using a phone book and a city map. The map and the phone book must be from the same city (e.g. Los Angeles phone book and Los Angeles City map), or else the exercise will not work. Participants represent an Emergency Team responding to a "disaster." Stage the simulation in a meeting room with a central folding table and chairs.

    The phone book is opened at random, and a point on the page is selected at random. The address for the business is located on the map, and a template is used to create a "disaster zone" around the address.

    A "cip" is selected at random using the "short straw" method. They are asked to imagine they are the victim of the disaster, based on the address selected in the previous step. After a moment's consideration, the "cip" will speak extemporaneously as to their loss, the destruction of their home and lifestyle, the disruption of their participation in the economy, their fears about confronting the afterlife or their fears that there is no afterlife.

    When the entire Emergency Team is "dead", the simulation is over.

  8. Bounty

  9. Bounty is an economic simulation used to study the creation of value through the use of imaginary automata which, for the purposes of this exercise, are called "Robots." The minimum number of players for Bounty is four, but if there are more than four participants, the players can form "decision groups" of multiple "cips."

    The simulation begins with four sides - North, South, East, and West, representing economic organizations that trade with each other. Each "Org" starts the game with two Robots that can be used to produce one of several "economic units": a resource (like fruit trees), a service (such as a massage clinic), an "energy generator," or another Robot. Each robot produces one "EcU" per turn.

    Resources can be traded for points with the other "Orgs." As robots can build other robots, players production capacity should grow with each passing turn. The goods produced are limited only by the participants' imaginations. Every other turn, the "Org" members switch from being the "Strategy Board", which determines what is being produced, to the "Citizens Council" which votes on which services and goods they would like to trade for from the other "Orgs." For instance, if the West Citizen's Council wanted Orange Candy with Fiber Optic Connectivity, they could trade a Robot and a unit of Whistlers with East and South for the Orange Candy and Fiber Optic Connectivity. Or they could threaten to use their robots to destroy the EcU of another "Org" if they did not receive the Blueboxes needed for trade with the North for the Whistlers. Or West could even pit one of their Robots against the robot of another Org!

    Under typical play, the Orgs can use alliances to create virtuous circles of "coopetition" where the every need of their Citizen's Councils is met by bountiful "Robot" labor, or they can create a "world" of endless cybernetic warfare!

  10. Technology

  11. This game simulates the future impact of technology by having players run paper "machines" through the use of six-sided (standard) dice.

    In this game, there are no sides. Instead, each "cip" rolls the dice to move a chit up and down a linear paper tape. The center cell of the tape is marked with a heavy black border - this center cell represents "State Zero" or a neutral value. To the right of State Zero is "Human Happiness." To the left of the black box is "Human Suffering."

    The game is played in rounds. When a player takes his turn, he names a particular technology, like "medical plastics." These technologies can be contemporary, such as portable electric lights, or imagined, such as an Invisible Text Laser. The players then write down the positive aspects of the "Technology" in question on a pad of paper, using whatever reference materials needed to arrive at their position. The dice are then rolled, and the chit is moved that number of spaces "up" (positive) the "Human Happiness/Suffering" scale.The process is then repeated for the technology in question, except that the player is asked to consider the negative impact of the technology. The dice are rolled again and the chit is moved "down" (negative) the "Human Suffering" scale, and the chit is again moved

    Example:

    It is Demetrius's turn as "technologist." For his technology he proposes an "Invisible Text Laser." After carefully defining with the rest of the "cips" what he means by "invisible" it is decided that a positive of the text laser would be the ability to perceive text in a time-accelerated manner. The dice are rolled, and the chit is moved seven (7) cells to the right (positive). After further discussion, the group decides that a negative of the text laser would be its use to involuntarily force comprehension of lexical material at a distance, with its invisibility allowing it to be used without accountability as a weapon of war. The dice are rolled and the chit is moved eleven (11) spaces to the left.

    The game is played until it is finished.

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