Monday, July 10, 2006

A Nonviolent Strategy Computer Game?

Here's a computer-based activist training tool I am currently checking out for the EAOP's Fall class on Organizing Social Movements and Campaigns. The computer game is called "A FORCE MORE POWERFUL: THE GAME OF NONVIOLENT STRATEGY." It's focus is on helping activists to think more strategically, learn to devise winning campaigns, and better understand the dynamics of effective nonviolent action. I've read the manual and the game is very rich conceptually. Still, I'll post again after I've had a chance to load it up and really check it out.

For now, here's what it says on the game's website:

A Force More Powerful: The Game of Nonviolent Strategy is the first and only interactive teaching tool in the field of nonviolent conflict. Developed by the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), media firm York Zimmerman Inc. and game designers at BreakAway Ltd., the game is built on nonviolent strategies and tactics used successfully in conflicts around the world.

Featuring ten scenarios inspired by history, A Force More Powerful simulates nonviolent struggles to win freedom and secure human rights against dictators, occupiers, colonizers, and corrupt regimes, as well as campaigns for political and human rights for minorities and women. The game models real-world experience, allowing players to devise strategies, apply tactics and see the results.

Nonviolent conflict is a way for ordinary people to fight for their rights using disruptive actions such as strikes, boycotts and mass protests. As people are mobilized to take action and withdraw their cooperation from the oppressor, the balance of power is shifted democratically to the people. And it works: in the last 33 years, nonviolent civic resistance has played a critical role in 50 of 67 transitions from authoritarianism.

The ICNC and York Zimmerman Inc. recognized the demand for an interactive teaching device when they saw the overwhelming response to their recent television documentaries, A Force More Powerful and Bringing Down a Dictator–films that tell stories of historical successes achieved by nonviolent action. Quickly embraced by activists, scholars and individuals throughout the world, the films revealed an unmet need for new educational materials in this field.

This game could be a very important training tool in a world where big money and corporations have come to dominate our system of government and the current administration is especially committed to eroding the effectiveness of democratic due process and civil rights.


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