There is interest at the University of Washington in developing a center on educational games and simulations, particularly using computer technology. A tentative group has formed for this purpose--the Games and Simulation Workshop (GaS Works). I have been doing projects in these areas for many years, and here are two of my creations.
Election Day is now part of a larger project that combines it with LegSim, a legislative simulation game. Together, they can teach many of the core ideas in high school and college civics and government.
I have completed a third edition of Election Day, a game that simulates national, state, and local elections. The game teaches players about campaign strategy in contemporary U.S. elections. By playing the role of a candidate or advisor, players learn how strategic campaign choices can influence the outcomes of elections. Hopefully, in addition to having fun, players will learn about public opinion, voting behavior, political advertising, media campaign coverage, campaign financing, electoral systems, and American political culture.
I have already created a prototype of the game, which you can download (at your own risk) at the Election Day website at www.election-day.info.
For a quick summary of the game's design, click here.
This is a board game I made for my squeeze, Cindy Simmons, some years back. It simulates the chaotic politics at a community radio station, not that any stations employing Ms. Simmons at present or in the past have ever had any organizational problems. If you want to learn more about the game, you can read the rules. If you're interested in playing (or marketing!) the game, let me know. There's only one copy at present, and that copy is the property of Ms. Simmons.
Just Plain Silly Games
I also just enjoy making games for fun. Here are a couple.
This is not--I repeat--NOT a simulation game, but it is fun. It involves little plastic animals and a deck of cards. Want to learn more? All you have to do is read the Basic Rules. Cindy and I created it for my nephews, who enjoyed it. Adults, such as ourselves, have also had fun playing it using the Advanced Rules.
Friendlier than Thou
Back in the days when I was a card-carrying Quaker, for a University
Friends Meeting (Seattle) retreat, I made this satirical card game for
the not-ready-for-bridge crowd. It's easy to play if you have a deck of
cards. You might even learn some Quaker jargon. Click here to get a pdf of the
recommended set of rules. If you want to play it with younger children
who haven't yet played card games involving suits, you might try these beginner