A good friend brought to my attention an extraordinary ted talk by John Hunter, about a World Peace Board Game. You can watch the full talk below:
The concept is quite striking: Several countries, multiple roles, 50 problems. Solve all 50 problems and the games is won…as a group! There is also one individual who acts as a saboteur. In this light I found the following quotation for Baha’u'llah:
The time must come when the imperative necessity for the holding of a vast, an all-embracing assemblage of men will be universally realized. The rulers and kings of the earth must needs attend it, and, participating in its deliberations, must consider such ways and means as will lay the foundations of the world’s Great Peace amongst men. Such a peace demandeth that the Great Powers should resolve, for the sake of the tranquillity of the peoples of the earth, to be fully reconciled among themselves. Should any king take up arms against another, all should unitedly arise and prevent him. If this be done, the nations of the world will no longer require any armaments, except for the purpose of preserving the security of their realms and of maintaining internal order within their territories. This will ensure the peace and composure of every people, government and nation
Here are some thoughts on why I think a game like this would be invaluable for young people (and adults too!).
- The game, at least as described, is an exercise in learning to think about long-term consequence of our actions, and learning that military and violent solutions are not effective means of obtaining peace. Hopefully it instills compassion and unity among the players. Now I would think this is actually not all that easy to do and would require the teacher to do a good job of guiding the students, as he/she would want to let the students explore freely.
- There is an incredible potential here to allow students to take ownership of, and think critically about, subjects and issues that they are normally so far removed from. I have said this before: it’s one thing to read an article about an environmental disaster; it’s a whole other thing if you have to actively think about how to prevent or mitigate such a disaster. Not only does it bring home the complexity of these problems and teaches the students to avoid black and white thinking, it also opens the door for creativity. Again I’d hope is that with the right guidance the students really start to focus on the underlying moral and spiritual values behind political/economic/social decisions they make.
- This is an incredible tool for learning communication. This is evident in the video clips that are shown. The question that remains for me is that if this was changed to an electronic format, how much of this aspect would be lost?…I’m not really sure.
I’ll definitely be reviewing the associated website (http://theworldpeacegame.com/) more!