Politics students play Crisis Games

Dated: 18 July 2022

Crisis Game winners Driana and Emma (centre) with Principal Sugra and politics teacher Daniel
Just before the end of term, 27 of our politics students volunteered to spend a weekend at the college taking part in ‘Crisis Games’.
Woodhouse politics teacher Daniel told us “The crisis games were organised by our politics department over a Saturday and Sunday (all day) in our maths building at Woodhouse. We put 27 ‘actors’ into teams and they represented nine different countries, plus the media, in order to ‘game’ a realistic crisis from international politics.
Our scenario was: What would happen if China invaded Taiwan?
The teams had individual objectives to complete - and had to come together, using negotiation and declarations, to simulate what would actually happen in real life and try to sort out this global conflict. They all took it very seriously and performed incredibly well. In the end, we chose winners based on objectives completed and overall effectiveness.
Winners Emma and Driana, and Natali, represented Malaysia and UK media respectively.
Emma and Driana told us…
E - “It was enjoyable engaging in discussions with other country members and it taught me a lot about what it might be like to participate in talks on a global scale - and it was rewarding to win”
D - “It showed our own abilities to talk with other people in a diplomatic way. At the start of the games we were really focussed on getting involved in a big crisis - we wanted to dive into talks with China and Russia and come up with a big idea… but towards the end, especially on the Sunday, we had the realisation that we needed to focus on ourselves and focus on Malaysia’s goals and interests, and that's how we eventually got to win, because we rose above all the mess of the Chinese/Taiwanese conflict.”
E - “It was really enjoyable negating with other countries because it proved to us that there are always two sides to a situation and you need to come up with the best solution for both parties. It me realise how you can achieve goals that are in both members' interests if you cooperate and don’t argue.”
D - “Yes, the key moment was when we (Malaysia) held a peace conference with all the countries because we were like ‘Oh, we need to settle this dispute’. But even then it was still the big countries trying to get their own interests rather than negotiating a peace deal. That’s when we realised that the whole point of the crisis games wasn’t to solve the conflict, but just to represent the real world, because in the real world the China/Taiwan problem isn’t going to be solved in two days.”
E - “The games concentrated the complexity of global politics and showed us how there’s a lot more to international relations than you see and you can’t easily solve some things. We tried act as a mediator between the other nations because we had already achieved our aims - like getting the UK out of Brunei - through a lot of negotiations.”
D - “You could apply a lot of what we covered to our politics course because - if you strip away the countries - it was sort of like a self realisation that you can take a stance with people and diplomatically negotiate things that you need in life, and things that will benefit other people.
It was a good stepping stone to university because there you branch out your ideas and talk with people about different aspects of subjects and it’s not all about one set topic.
To win (we won a £50 Nandos voucher!) we had to achieve our country’s foreign, economic and military aims  - and we managed to tick all those boxes throughout the weekend.
It was great fun too”

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