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Next Gen at NASAGA 2022: Diplomacy as a Learning Tool

This weekend, I attended a familiar conference to the Next Gen family- NASAGA 2022 (North Atlantic Simulations and Games Association). This year, the conference was held in beautiful Montreal, Canada. In addition to attending great workshops on a variety of topics, we gorged ourselves on poutine, escargot, and delicious bone marrow, three favorites of the French bistros we frequented!

I've been to three of these conferences- two of which I presented at. This time around, I ran an event centered around the game Diplomacy, which is a well known, phenomenal simulation covering European politics around the time of the First World War.

12 participants, playing 7 nations, learned the mechanics of Diplomacy and go through a number of turns during our 90 minute session.

The main focus of the presentation was about the different ways Diplomacy (or any game for that matter) could be used as a learning tool for students, teachers, corporate executives, and anyone else that might need a fun activity designed to teach a lesson.

In this case, I was focused on intrapersonal skills. Players filled out a questionnaire before the game, which centered on topics around leadership, group work, decision making, and self advocacy. As players went through the game, I asked them to consider what their game persona was as they made decisions for their nation. Afterwards, I had players fill out a second questionnaire reflecting on their own personal performance in the game, with prompts nearly identical to the first set.

Players could then compare their responses to see if their game persona matched how they see themselves in real life. It was a great opportunity to evaluate skills, using Diplomacy as a magnifying glass, which could further support a person's growth in the workplace, classroom, and even in their personal lives.

This is just another facet of what Next Gen is capable of. Should this be of interest to you, please reach out and set up a time to chat.

Happy Gaming! (and Learning!)

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