2013-14 Edition Now Available
Game of Politics©
American government simulations use
role playing to make American
politics come alive. These national government
simulations create an active learning
experience, and are appropriate for upper secondary and higher education government classes,
continuing education courses, civic education conferences, community
organizations or elder hostel.
see recent research on the
simulation's dramatic impact on student learning of traditional course
content. These gains are in addition to the simulation's impact of
greater student involvement with the subject matter.
in one of my classes have I been able to participate in a hands-on
activity, like the simulation, that helped me to put the concepts
from the class in such a perspective. To me, Political Science and the workings of government have
always been abstract ideas that I have never been able to fully
understand. But since
completing my role in the Senate, not only do I understand the
process of legislative decision making, but I am more interested
in what is really going on in government today.
Overall, I would
have to say that the simulation was an extremely valuable learning
tool. It helped to cement and ‘make real’ the concepts that
were presented to us in class.
I also now understand how laws and decisions are made, as
well as how things like gossip, rumors, and outside pressure
affect our nation’s decision makers.
Thank you for making a ‘scary’ subject like Political
Science real, and more importantly, understandable.”
Hobman, Senate Majority Leader
Click the navigation
buttons to examine materials from both the macro and micro simulations.
Read evaluations from participants and coordinators, take the
simulations on a test drive, get answers to frequently asked questions,
contact the author or find out how to place an order.
a few years in the future, The Game of Politics©
macro simulation (3-12 sessions) is a comprehensive and cost-effective simulation of American government that includes
all three branches of the national government.
This macro simulation brings the subject matter to life and enables
the 15-75 participants to gain an
insider’s view of our
political process. This
simulation game has been carefully
designed and tested to produce an effective active-learning
A typical session of The
Game of Politics©
macro simulation begins with a media report on
events from the previous session.
This is followed by press conferences from
participants and “outsiders” who give a human face to the Story Lines. Then
participants divide into legislative, executive and judicial
work groups to generate policy decisions.
During work sessions participants receive material from Story Lines reflecting a volatile political
environment. Then, the participants make decisions based on their best
assessment of the situation.
simulation alternatives to the macro simulation use material from the original game and
are full-featured, but allow
users to run even smaller and shorter simulations. These three micro
simulations focus on the
process (19-52) the dynamics of presidential decision-making
(5-8) and the
politics of Supreme Court decision-making (8-16) .
Yet, even these
micro simulations place activities within a larger context of
public policy debates through Story Lines and an active media role.
Participants never lose sight of the big
The Game of
macro simulation is best suited to survey courses or conferences
participants) where you wish to be more comprehensive, have plenty of
interaction between branches, plus have the possibility of up to 12 sessions. The
micro simulations are best suited to upper level or highly specialized classes
or focused introductory courses with generally smaller enrollments (most
are in the 5-16 range) and can be accomplished in fewer sessions.
Click on the How to Order
button on this web page for more information on available alternatives and
the new Annual Update Program.
To receive a free
newsletter with more information about the simulations send an email
to email@example.com .
Be sure to include your name, institutional affiliation and email address.
All simulations have been
class tested to ensure that effective learning takes place and
they can be “plug
and play” experiences for the simulation coordinator. Classroom
versions (whether on paper or CD-Rom) come complete with all
manuals, a liberal site license and two sets of Story Lines. Online
versions include all manuals a liberal site license and Story
Lines that are organized for easy uploading to a web platform or email
Game of Politics©
is being used at undergraduate, graduate and
secondary educational institutions in the
United States and abroad (from Japan and Viet Nam to Bahrain). It has also been selected for presentation before the
(1) American Democracy Project, (2) American
Political Science Association, (3) International Civic Education
Research Organization, (4) APSA Teaching and Learning Conference,
(5) Midwest Political Science Association, (6) National Center
For Political Engagement, (7) Northeastern Political Science
Association, (8) Southwestern Political Science Association and (9) Eastern Community College Social Science Association.
Game of Politics©
simulation will also receive a free copy of the Terra Nova©
simulation for Introduction to Politics and Political Theory
courses. Click here to learn
more about this extra benefit for The
Game of Politics©
GAME OF POLITICS SIMULATION: A REPLICATION
Kathleen M. Perez and Melvin A. Kahn, Wichita State University (2008
Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association)
This paper is a
replication of an exploratory study which sought to evaluate Professor Don Jansiewicz’s GAME OF
POLITICS (The Game) simulation as a learning tool for better
understanding the legislative-executive process. Our original
study used legislative-executive process questions as part of two
separate examinations. The midterm examination was given
after using the traditional lecture-discussion method and a
widely-used American Politics textbook. The final
examination was administered after a series
of five simulation class sessions. Both examinations utilized the same
two essays and 25 open-ended questions although the students were
not aware that this would occur. The original 2007 findings showed
that students, on average, scored much higher on the two essay
questions and the 25 additional items on the final examination
when compared to the midterm results. Means increased in
value while standard deviations decreased in size. A
limitation to the original study, however, was the small number of
cases. Only 19 students took both the midterm and the and
the final examinations at the scheduled times.
this limitation, the study was replicated one year later using
another American Politics course taught by the same instructor who
used the exact same course structure. In the second course,
23 students took the midterm and final exam at the scheduled
times, and the findings were extremely similar to those in the
original study. The implications of
these findings are discussed.
GAME OF POLITICS SIMULATION: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY
Melvin A. Kahn and Kathleen M. Perez, Wichita State University Journal
of Political Science Education Vol. 3 Issue 4 October
paper is an exploratory study of Professor Don Jansiewicz's GAME
of POLITICS (The Game) simulation. The course instructor employs
The Game in his introductory American Politics class as a learning
tool for better understanding the legislative-executive process.
Our exploratory study used legislative-executive process questions
as part of two separate multiquestion examinations. The 75-minute
midterm examination was given after using the traditional
lecture-discussion method and a widely used American Politics
textbook. The 110-minute comprehensive final examination was
administered after students had participated in The Game over five
consecutive 75-minute class sessions toward the end of the
semester. In preparation for each examination, students were given
detailed study guides that included 20 possible essay questions
and 40 possible short-answer, open-ended questions. Although the
students were not aware that this would occur, both examinations
included the same two essays and 25 open-ended questions along
with other questions.
The findings consistently show that students, on average, scored
higher on the two essay questions and the 25 additional items on
the final examination when compared to the midterm results. Means
increased in value while standard deviations decreased in size.
The possible implications of these findings are discussed.
is a free and flexible simulation for Introduction
to Politics courses, Political Theory courses and conferences that is given to
those who order any version of The Game of Politics©
simulation. Terra Nova©
places students in the situation
of being on a spacecraft that has left Earth to establish a base
camp on a new planet and design a new world, after it is
discovered that the Earth will be destroyed by a star moving
towards our solar system. In Terra Nova©
simulation, students will have
the opportunity to start all over again and plan a new world.
Don Jansiewicz, the author,
has decades of experience in designing Political Science
simulations. He has
previously published The New Alexandria Simulation: A Serious
Game of State and Local Politics (Harper and Row).