The game is actually far more complex than glimpsed in the TED Talk or in the documentary film. Here’s what the game requires to be facilitated, played, and maintained:
Students who play must:
- possess a certain “intellectual stamina” and can wrestle over an extended period of time with tough problems that are without quick or easy resolution
- can interact constructively with others different from themselves (diversity as much as possible)
- can forestall closure and handle the certain frustrations of endless challenges and conflicts as they collaborate to achieve peace
Teacher / Facilitators who wish to use the game must:
- know their particular group of students very well, as the game is entirely based upon relationships
- must be able to foster and watch without interfering, opportunities for initial failures of the students, though they ultimately achieve success
- be able to not know or understand just what the students are doing for a time, but have an intuitive understanding of their intent and discern how best to facilitate that intent
- be able to create appropriate new parameters / rules / procedures as needed to deepen learning suddenly
- be able to cede control of the classroom direction to the students while maintaining teacher-student collaboration, or in other words, to lead without leading
In short, charisma, compassion, connectivity, creativity, patience, and awareness are all necessary in great measure. It has taken me over thirty five years to develop enough skill to facilitate the game. Even now I am quite often in situations where failure is normal and routine, and I am completely in the dark about what to do next. This is normal for me now, but not everyone is interested in adopting the above prerequisites in their teaching or classroom style.
To ideally, to learn how to play the game best is to observe a number of game sessions first. This is where the Foundation Master Class participation comes in to play. The World Peace Game is completely different every time. It is immensely complex (deliberately so) with well-over 50 interlocking, local and global problems, and new ones popping up every round of play! The current board takes about 5–6 hours to set up, and normally 3 hours are allotted to simply explain to new students how the game works. The dossier / manuals given are about 20–30 pages long. A secure, undisturbed room space is necessary for the duration of the game which may take 6–12 weeks (in regular school settings) to play depending on many factors involved in that particular game. Master Class/World Peace Games conducted by John are 5-day intensives.
The game’s duration is also not that predictable. A flexible schedule is necessary. The game was designed to optimally accommodate 25–35 players. The structure itself claims almost a quarter of a typical classroom’s space, which may pose a challenge to give over that much space and time to one (albeit, multidisciplinary) project. Any amount of time less would not be sufficient. An extensive, long-term commitment is needed to implement this game successfully. There are will not be a shortened or simpler version of the game because the learning outcomes would not be the same.