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Spring 2007 Rules (archive)
Note: If you would like to change (or suggest a change) to anything here, go to the official World Simulation Rules page and edit it or make a comment.
* Props *
Hard Power (paper cards with numbers on them)
Natural Resources (yellow notecards)
Sacred Items (often stuffed animals)
Land (Cereal Boxes with your culture’s name on it.)
Mobility Maps (see below)
Fruit Loops = Rich, varied, and nutritious diet
Cheerios = Monotonous, not rich, non-nutritious diet
Cocoa Puffs = Luxury consumption goods (chocolate, coffee, tobacco)
THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE OF ALL
TRY. Please put your best efforts into making this simulation work. It will require a great deal of imagination on all of our parts. We have all learned a great deal about how cultures are integrated and interrelated. As each event occurs, do your best to “stay in character” and really act out what might actually happen in these different scenarios. If for some reason you are isolated with nothing to do and nobody to interact with, please try to imagine what you might do if you were actually a part of the culture you have created within this world system and find a way to interact with others. If this is impossible, use the time to discuss with your group how your culture might have changed given what has occurred so far. Consider all the different aspects of culture – infrastructure, social structure, and superstructure – and how they might have changed given the things that have happened to your culture during the simulation.
Populations of cultures have been set to approximate world populations as of 1450 at the dawn of European colonization (400 million). World population will roughly double in each interaction, simulating the real world’s population growth (We will end with 6.2 billion people). Throughout the simulation your own population may increase or decrease based on famine, disease, or shift to a new subsistence pattern (e.g. industrial agriculture would increase your “carrying capacity” and thereby increase your population tremendously). This will be indicated in your envelope at the beginning of the round.
- Understand the “structural power” of the world by simulating it in a form that allows us to see it all at once.
- Understand the many nuances and challenges of cultural change by experiencing those changes ourselves.
There will be 4 sessions lasting approximately 17 minutes each. These 17 minutes are divided into 3 parts.
- 10 minutes of interaction time
- 3 minutes of “take account” time in which you “feed yourself” “pay your laborers” etc. (see below)
- 4 minutes of “World News” by Professor Wesch
Each interaction will begin with each group opening an envelope providing the scenario for that particular interaction.
In order to survive, at the end of each session you must have a piece of food (cereal) to eat. This will require either land (a cereal box from which you can get food) or money to buy food from others. Note: This rule does not apply to industrial powers as they are those few people in the world who never have to worry about having enough food to eat.
If you cannot eat at the end of the interaction, your death is marked as a “famine” by the historian and your death will decrease the total population of your culture by 5%. Even though you died, YOU STILL INTERACT IN THE NEXT INTERACTION, but you must move to a different culture / colony as a refugee.
Each industrialized culture must use one yellow card (representing natural resources) at the end of each round (hand it to one of the World Sim Observers or your Historian). If you do not have a yellow card at the end of the round you do not get your next envelope (which may include hard power and/or important knowledge.
Hard Power & The Rules of War
Each culture will start with a certain amount of hard power with which to launch attacks or protect themselves. Hard power will be a number between 0 and 1,000,000. This will be distributed among a number of cards with the numbers written on them. Each culture will have as many as 50 hard power cards with different numbers on them. When traveling the traveler should carry some of this hard power with them, however one must recognize that taking too much depletes the amount of hard power others in the group can carry or could leave your home culture completely unprotected.
Each culture has a POWER CIRCLE. Whoever stands in the POWER CIRCLE controls the land of the culture. (They do not control the people, but the people need to eat, so they may need to cooperate with the person who controls all the land.) You will want to protect your power circle from invaders who can use hard power to knock you out of the power circle and take control of your land.
A battle begins with somebody from one culture challenges the person standing in the power circle. Both sides quickly decide how much hard power they want to use in the first battle and places these cards in their right hand. At the count of 3 each side shows the other the hard power they are holding in their right hand. The side with the most hard power wins the battle and gets all of the hard power expended by the other culture. The war is over when one side surrenders or is completely out of hard power. Terms of surrender are negotiable between the two warring parties but may include a right to hold on to some hard power, money, land production rights, etc.
The winner occupies the land and will then acts as a colonizer or occupier. The colonizer can tax the people, take the land, force people into labor, force them to grow different crops, or kill them all (genocide). If genocide is committed, you will need to leave your land and become “refugees” in another nearby land. You will then live out the rest of the simulation as a refugee in a foreign land. If a war is to end in a virtual stale-mate, the group already occupying the land stays on the land and both teams retain their hard power.
Alliances can be made through whatever trades or agreements two cultures can make and will allow one culture to draw on the hard power of the other and vice versa.
Important Note: If you lose your Fruit Loops and they are gone at the end of the round, they are gone forever. You join the World System and must find a new way to survive.
(This is to be realistic. Once you have been colonized for one round (the equivalent of 125 years) you cannot go back to living the way you were before colonization. Your culture will have changed tremendously. Therefore, you can NOT live on Fruit Loops even if you rebel and regain your land. If you still have Fruit Loops, imagine that they now represent cash crops or other commodities for the global market. If your Fruit Loops have been taken somewhere else, you will have to find another way to make a living (sell your labor, mineral rights, etc.).)
Mobility Maps – Each group will have Mobility Maps. They may visit only those cultures on the maps they hold. All travel must be done with one of these maps. These maps are necessary to simulate the limited mobility of different cultures. Large states will have significantly more mobility than others. Ocean fishing cultures will have mobility reflecting their ability to travel over oceans but will be limited in their inland travel.
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