World of Communities is a strategic social impact board game tool promoting civic engagement and stakeholder collaboration. It fosters entrepreneurship, negotiation, and responsibility, encouraging players to step out of their comfort zones for collaborative success.
Problems and Purpose
The World of Communities is a participatory strategic simulation board game, steered by a certified Master Facilitator and tailored for 2-6 participants. Over 3-4 hours, participants traverse their virtual community, united by a mutual aim - the development of their community guided by set indicators within the game scenario.
The journey initiates with introductions, swiftly transitioning into a captivating simulation punctuated by a brief intermission. Each player embodies a distinct role, collectively navigating towards victory, a feat achievable solely through communal effort and cooperation.
Throughout the game, the Master Facilitator maintains an observant role, providing assistance where necessary, and ensuring the game's objectives are met.
The participants face the exciting challenge of making individual and collective decisions amidst limited resources, promptly processing new information and overcoming crises that emerge during gameplay.
At the game's conclusion, debriefing is conducted, creating a platform for exchanging insights, analysing player strategies, and discussing the game's overall design.
Consistent engagement with the World of Communities game refines entrepreneurial skills, solidifies trust, enhances negotiation capabilities, and promotes resilience. It encourages openness to diverse perspectives, the constructive handling of failure, a willingness to bear responsibility in challenging situations, and cultivates attentiveness, compliance with instructions, and active listening and expression of one's point of view
Origins and Development
Mykhailo Voitovych and Taras Tymchuk designed and developed the tool in Ukraine in 2016. World of Communities started with the belief that in today's complex world, everyone can improve the lives of their communities and organizations through participation because it guarantees more sustainable development.
Participant Recruitment and Selection
For the game session, participants are selected according to criteria based on goals and objectives. Participants do not necessarily have to have gaming experience or be game geeks. The recommended age of participants is 12+.
How it Works: Process, Interaction, and Decision-Making
Upon entering the game, players are assigned distinct demographic roles, such as policeman, migrant, doctor, entrepreneur, or farmer. Each role, accompanied by its professional background, income, expenses, and life bonuses, offers unique opportunities and challenges. Players live and play within these roles until the game concludes.
Every game round is equivalent to an electoral cycle consisting of three phases: collective decisions, individual activity or decision-making, and collective actions.
In each round, players elect a mayor from among themselves, who guides the game according to the rules. Players must devise their electoral system and demonstrate leadership skills, as the game doesn't prescribe a specific procedure for electing a mayor.
Players must navigate through each phase, managing their salary, paying taxes, determining cost structures, and directing their energy towards activities leading to their individual goals. You can choose to play for the group goal or personal victory.
Furthermore, players will encounter pleasant and stressful life circumstances throughout the game. I would need to acknowledge these and deal with them.
Throughout the game, players must make numerous decisions, individually and collectively, providing an immersive simulation of community life.
In essence, "World of Communities" offers an intricate, participatory experience that involves decision-making, leadership, negotiation, and role-playing, all geared towards individual and collective success.
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
The "World of Communities" game provides an immersive experience, eliciting a broad spectrum of emotions from players - everything from initial rejection and denial to bouts of Homeric laughter and even tears. A Game Master moderator leads each session and concludes with a debriefing or reflection phase, where participants exchange thoughts, new experiences, and emotions, share contacts, and discuss plans and actions.
The game not only facilitates a smooth learning process but also accelerates self-development and diagnosis, relationship development and diagnosis, and the generation of group-created solutions. Each session is a unique opportunity for growth and insight.
Systematic engagement with the "World of Communities" has led to observable changes in its players. 67% reported improved relationships with others, 65% noticed an enhancement in their leadership skills, and 63% learned to approach problems from a broader perspective. The game inspired 59% to collaborate with others to solve common issues, 57% to instigate changes, and 55% reported increased motivation to participate in community life.
Practically speaking, the game finds usage in various fields. 69% use it for education on community development tools, while 52% leverage it to activate people and engage them in more intricate processes. It's utilized for team building (49%), developing financial and entrepreneurial skills (45%), and identifying hidden leaders (44%). The game also aids in understanding people's behavior and nature (37%) and even forms a part of community strategic planning (18%).
In conclusion, the "World of Communities" game is a transformative tool that substantially improves interpersonal relations, problem-solving abilities, and leadership skills while fostering active participation in community life.
Analysis and Lessons Learned
The "World of Communities" board game is a versatile tool applied across business, education, culture, civil society, personal development, youth, and community sectors. It fosters team building, decision-making, leadership skills, soft skills, and socializing. It promotes change in behavior and systemic models, while aiding in various practical applications such as HR recruitment, needs assessment, project management, bullying prevention, partner diagnosis, and more. This game is a holistic instrument for developing individual and community competencies, fostering constructive social behavior, and promoting active citizen participation.