EarthCraft is an international political simulation game that gives students an opportunity to control the world and try and deal with an overwhelmingly large number of realistic “Earth Challenges”. It was designed with Year 6 students in mind but it could easily be played by students of any age from about 11 years old and up.
- Students are put in teams: six continent teams, the World Bank, the UN, Greenpeace, the Palestinians, Anonymous (the hacktivist group), and “the Fates” (two students who help run the game)
- Each team is given a whole list of “Earth Challenges” that they have to solve, they are military, political, ethical, environmental and economic in nature (e.g. border disputes, land rights, water issues, nuclear meltdowns, stolen heritage, inflation…)
- We have open negotiations where students talk, discuss, argue, come up with plans, invent things and policies, then each team has a ‘turn’ where they come up to the board and announce what they’re doing that ‘game day’ – they take actions e.g. table treaties, announce war, mine for minerals on the moon, solve Earth Challenges – then back to open negotiations, then on to the next team
- The core mechanism of the game revolves around solving the Earth Challenges while keeping ahead of resource concerns: food, energy, steel and cash. They earn and use up these resources each game day.
Here’s a short documentary that shows what the game is all about:
If you’d like more information about this simulation game, and how to play it, get in touch: