Universiteit Leiden

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Governance and Global Affairs

Serious Games

The Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs of Leiden University in The Hague has developed Serious Games to introduce high school students to its education and researchfield.

In a fun and easy way high school students are introduced into the complexity of societal problems as they are educated and researched at the faculty. The Serious Games provide insight in actors involved with societal problems and the, at times difficult, interactions between and within these actors. The students get to know different interests, decision-making based on these interests and consequences of decisions for and in the role of one of the actors.

Both Serious Games can be played by visiting the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs. With such a visit high school students first follow a lecture about the subject of one of the games and afterwards play the serious game led by students of the faculty. The Serious Games are played in Dutch. 

Het Grote Migratiespel

In Het Grote Migratiespel, translated The Big Migrationgame, students are challenged to get into the character of one of the actors involved with a wave of refugees from Syria to Europe. The students have to make decisions concerning the migrants with the ultimate aim to determine how many migrants eventualy will reach Europe. The game can be played in one to two hours.

Het Grote Migratiespel is developed to represent the cases studied by the bachelor Public Administration that is educated at the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs. By playing the game, students get to know the complexity of societal problems such as waves of refugees.

Content of the game

A class with students is divided in five groups and they are given the role of one of the following actors: the European Union, the Government of Turkey, the Government of The Netherlands, the Smugglers, and a family of refugees traveling to Europe. The actors are confronted with a group of 200 Syrians that is willing to start the journey to Europe; heaven on earth. In four rounds, the five actors have to make decisions that can influence the wave of refugees. The actors are presented different choices concerning the migrants in Turkey, the Mediterranean and eventually on the border of the European Union.

In every round the students are given three options on ‘action cards’. With group members, the students need to make an informed choice for one of the three options. After the discussion within the groups the chosen actions and consequences of these actions are discussed in class. Every chosen action influences the number of migrants travelling: the number can go up or down. After every round the supervisor reports the score: how many migrants are travelling to Europe?

The goal of the game is the number of migrants that reaches Europe. How many students this will be depends on the choices of the different actors. Whether this final number is ‘good’ or ‘wrong’ is up to the perception of the students.

Het Schipholspel

In Het Schipholspel, translated The Schipholgame, students are presented different security issues of Schiphol. Students need to decide how to react to these security issues. Collaboration is very important, because it is impossible to solve the security issues alone. During the game the students have to make a trade-off between what risk is acceptable and which resources are proportional to reduce the risk. The game can be played in one to two hours.

Het Schipholspel is developed to represent the cases studied by the bachelor Security Studies that is educated at the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs. By playing the game, students get to know the complexity of security issues.

Content of the game

Today, it is Schiphol’s busiest day of the year! For Schiphol it is very important that this day runs smoothly. If problems arise, thousands of passengers will suffer. The students are therefore divided into teams. The teams are responsible for their area in case an emergency occurs. It is important that the safety of all passengers is guaranteed. To do this, the teams must communicate with each other to avoid misunderstandings. However, there is more! A safety report on Schiphol was presented a few days ago. The report notes that there are a number of major structural problems at Schiphol that undermine the long-term safety of the airport. The students have to write a plan of action for one of the structural problems that occur at Schiphol.  Today a press conference has been scheduled. The journalists would like to hear more about the future safety of Schiphol.

After this hectic round, the students have to analyze safety risks. They do this both individually and in teams. Attention is paid to assessing and dealing with safety risks.

Visit the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs

High school students truly get to know the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs and its education and research when they have visited the faculty. High schools are able to play a Serious Game at the faculty in The Hague. With such a visit, high school students are lectured about the subject of the Serious Game by one of our researchers or educators. After the lecture, the high school students play the Serious Game led by one of our students. This way, students learn about the subject of the Serious Game, the faculty, bachelors of the faculty and what it is like to be a student.

Due to the amount of interest and limited availability, visits are only open for fourth, fifth and sixth classes of VWO. There is a minimum of 25 students and maximum of 250 students for one visit and the visits are not charged.


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