When students do simulations, they are engaged in learning about the many interwoven complexities of a situation such as creating a new nation. They apply concepts, see the ramification of their decisions; and make more decisions; they do not memorize information. They find out that real world events are not simple straight lines but involve many diverse turns.
CyperNations is a “free nation simulation game. Create a nation anywhere in the world and decide how you will rule your people by choosing a government type, a national religion, ethnicity, tax rate, currency type, and more in this new geo-political, nation, and government simulator. There are no fees associated with Cyber Nations, no credits or upgrades to buy, no gimmicks, just a fun place to hang out and rule your nation.”
Nations States is a free nation simulation game. “Build a nation and run it according to your own warped political ideals. Create a Utopian paradise for society’s less fortunate or a totalitarian corporate police state. Care for your people or deliberately oppress them. Join the United Nations or remain a rogue state. It’s really up to you.” Its educational page tells about the use in education.
Welcome to GotNation. “What you find here is a socio-economic political simulation that places you at the reins of government. You control the various factors that most governments control (things like government spending and budget, tax rates, prime rates, etc.), you can adjust your government’s settings and see what the result will be for your population in terms of happiness, rights, freedoms, GDP, etc. There is no optimal solution, success or failure is up to you to determine.”
Welcome to Qpawn. “This is a world simulation where people can join up as the nation of their choice and perform the foreign, economic, military, and political policies that they wish. If you wish to join then enter the “Join” link, read the rules and fill out the form given to you. Qpawn is free. There are no financial charges or fees.”
What simulations (be they computer based or paper and pencil based) have you used in your classrooms to engage students in a virtual nation with all of its complexities?
If you know of any simulations for creating a new nation that has a high amount of structure, please let me know since a team is looking for one for a one week interdisciplinary unit. Thanks.
© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007