Simulation Game on Right-Wing Populism and Freedom of Speech

In partnership with the Deutsche Welle Akademie we conducted the online workshop "Understanding the World through Play - Teaching Media competence through Educational Games" on February 26, 2021.
In order to illustrate how this complex topic can be communicated to young people, we conducted a simulation game set in the fictional country of Rexania, where the government convened a summit to address the current dissent on the topics of security and freedom of speech.

These issues have recently gained relevance due to the general political polarization we witness in Europe. The spread of conspiracy theories and fake news as well as the threat of terrorism and the increasing propensity to violence are symptoms of this trend. Thus, discussions on restricting the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression in order to protect the nation increasingly divide our societies.

During the simulation game, the participants therefore took on the roles of representatives of various parties, the media, associations, and NGOs and discussed different opinions. Thereby, the simulation game served to critically examine various perspectives and possible answers as well as their shortcomings to these issues.

Furthermore, the workshop pointed out how knowledge about socially relevant topics can be conveyed through games, how games can facilitate critical engagement with complex content and how games can promote empathy with people who hold different positions. To further elaborate on this, representatives of the DW Akademie presented a selection of games and tools they developed in order to help youth familiarize with the topic of freedom of expression. You can access these games here. We are looking forward to future cooperation with the DW Akademie!