Serious Games and World Politics Summer Seminar Kicks Off

June 23, 2023

Serious Games and World Politics Summer Seminar Kicks Off

Serious Games Participants

This summer’s Serious Games and World Politics Summer Seminar in Mokra Gora, Serbia has begun.

Seven PhD students from Ohio State’s English and Political Science Departments have joined eight Serbian counterparts and are accompanied by ten faculty members from both Ohio State and the Faculty of Political Science (FPN) at the University of Belgrade. They are joined by two journalism students from FPN, and two observers from the University of Glasgow.

The seminar aims to create a community of scholars who will inhabit an interdisciplinary space that brings together humanities and social and behavioral scientists to explore research and pedagogy related to world politics through gaming practices in the classroom and presenting their own research to peers and faculty.  Most games that have been used in the International Relations classroom tilt toward teaching concepts of realist IR such as anarchy, the security dilemma, and instrumental rationality in strategic decision-making. These are important concepts, but they are not the sole important concepts for understanding world politics.

Dr. Amanda Rosen of the US Naval War College will facilitate participants’ ‘play’ of a brand-new diplomacy game specifically designed for the seminar in order to teach: the feeling of ontological (in)security; the roles of identity, collective memory, and norms; and the salience (or not) of international norms, law, and trust. Seminar participants will ‘play’ the draft game over two days and in the debriefing will discuss how to use them pedagogically in undergraduate classrooms in Columbus and Belgrade. Dr. Rosen and her colleague, Dr. Nina Kollars, have an IRB to publish the game and a discussion of its first iteration and future potential applications in teaching environments.

Serious Games and World Politics took place within the framework of the Serbian Educational Alliance, a U.S. State Department-funded university partnership program between the Center for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies at The Ohio State University and the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Belgrade. The summer seminar was co-funded by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at The Ohio State University.

Pictured is a team of international participants in the SuperAgent game.
Left to Right: Milica Topalović (U. of Belgrade), Zhiqin Gao (Ohio State Dept. of Political Science), Eamon Butler McIntosh (U. of Glasgow), Evan DeCarlo (Ohio State Dept. of English)