World Peace Game

About the game

The World Peace Game, created by John Hunter in 1978, is a hands-on, multi-dimensional, geopolitical simulation. The master gameboard complex stands over 4’ high with each of its 4 ascending levels a 4’ x 4’ plexiglas plateau, covered with hundreds of game pieces, (troops, tanks, raw materials transports, ships, tankers, factories, spacecraft, submarines, and undersea mining operations, etc).

Like a multi-dimensional game of chess, several governments, a united nations body, an arms dealer company, a legal counsel firm,  and a world banking institution, all find themselves embroiled in a complex and interlocking set of military, economic, social, and environmental crisis, simultaneously. Regional and global war is imminent and only daring, innovative thinking, behind-the-scenes negotiations and risk-taking, can extricate each country from these dangerous circumstances.

The challenging and creatively demanding goals of the game are two-fold; for student-run governments to bring prosperity to the entire world by having each nation’s individual assets (budgets) increase beyond their initial value; and extricating each country from all initial crisis situations, with the least amount of military action.

Requirements to play the game

1. 25-35 students

2. World Peace Game trained facilitator

3. Room set aside purely for playing the game, 4 desks and 25-35 chairs, 15-20 hours for playing the game 

4. Printed materials, paper and pencils (dossiers, trade agreements, peace treaties, cheques, receipts, graph paper, blank paper, pencil for each student and sharpener)

5. Student-teacher relationship

Art of War - Sun Tzu

Each game day begins with a reading from The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Students are not asked what they think about the readings, only given time and space to reflect in silence what these words mean to them.

Here are a few of the quotes we contemplate:

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles."

"Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

"Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win."

"In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity."

"The greatest victory is that which requires no battle."

"Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate."

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare."

"When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard."

"When the enemy is relaxed, make them toil. When full, starve them. When settled, make them move."

"There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard. There are not more than five primary colours, yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen. There are not more than five cardinal tastes, yet combinations of them yield more flavours than can ever be tasted."

"Who wishes to fight must first count the cost."

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt; if you know Heaven and know Earth, you may make your victory complete."