Charlottesville, United States
Making world politics understandable through a board game may sound incredible, but this is exactly what John Hunter, the inventor of the World Peace Game, has succeeded in doing. Hunter, a teacher, designed the game to demonstrate the complexity of world politics to his students and to enable them to learn exactly how difficult it can be to maintain peace.
Before the game starts, each child is assigned a country, and the game primarily begins as a matter of defending the interests of their own country. However, over the course of the game, the children come to realise that it is impossible to defend their own interests without making compromises and cooperating with others. The game can be made more complex to reflect the age group and the children’s experience, so that players can also learn how economic, social and environmental issues are related and how quickly peaceful coexistence can be jeopardised. In addition, factors such as storms or insurrections can also be integrated into the game. Of course, it is not really possible to win the World Peace Game, but the children come to learn that not everything in the world can be controlled and that violence is a reality that they may need to face.
Since its invention, Hunter has continued to develop the board game with his pupils. There are also plans to create an online version. Importantly, the World Peace Game encompasses a community that includes people from several generations, and many former pupils are now directly involved in the reality of securing peace.