Global change game

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The Global change game was devised in Winnipeg in December 1991 by a group of students from the University of Manitoba. It is a simulation that involves exploring, understanding and solving some of the issues that plague the world today. The list is as follows:


A large map of the world is laid out. The game involves up to 70 participants or more (depending on the size of the venue). Each participant is randomly assigned to one of the 10 regions in the world: North America, Latin America, Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Africa, The Middle East, India, Southeast Asia, China and the Pacific Rim. Each player represents roughly 100 million people. Each region begins with realistic assets and problems. North America, Europe and the Pacific Rim are well off, but India and Africa are in extreme poverty. Food supply, medical facilities and employment opportunity tokens are distributed accordingly based on actual figures in reality. Likewise, military strength also mirrors that of the real world. The passing of time represents the number of years. Normally the span is around 30 to 40 years.

At the beginning of the game, the three nuclear powers are asked whether they wish to disarm their nuclear armaments. Players who do not have food, health care or employment are given one black arm band for each of those; any player who receives three will be declared dead. Regions can also declare refugees, however if no other region offers them asylum, they perish into the open ocean. When the game is in play, the facilitators will move around to determine if proposals for certain problems are feasible or not and reward or punish the groups accordingly. For example, the poor management of the environment can lead to famine, strife and pestilence. Facilitators will also announce random problems at specified intervals, ranging from ozone depletion to global warming.

Leaders are chosen in the beginning of each game to lead their respective regions; these leaders are given coats ties and hats to give them the aura of leadership. They control the finances and military strength and are allowed to pocket the wealth of their regions as they deem fit. To win, one must be the leader of a region and acquire the most wealth.

Leaders can also choose to declare war: Victory is determined by the army tokens. Once victory is achieved, the loser's territory and assets belong to the winner. If the army tokens are equal then both sides lose not only the armies but also the wealth. A victor can control the invaded territory by stationing troops in the conquered land. Nuclear war wipes out the entire earth population.

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