SPIR608 Political Simulation and Gaming/2013/Week 7

Monday 25th February


Week 7 Discussion of Aufruhr!

Ruhr.2010 stamp
Wikiversity Image credit:

Is the design of the game's mechanics (board, pieces, cards, etc.) fit for purpose? edit

Aesthetically a contender for one of the best looking games on the course. Custom game board which mapped the Ruhr region and game components were of a high standard. However, colour coding of the card types (industry, education, etc) needed more clarity as ink wash shades were too hard to tell apart.

Is the game enjoyable and sociable to play? edit

General consensus the game was very enjoyable, and the mechanics of the game facilitated lots of player interaction through mayoral voting, bribery, and joint building projects.

What techniques does the game use to model its chosen subject? edit

In attempting to model the process of economically developing the Ruhr region the game employs the mechanics of resource management as well as resource distribution on the part of the mayor. It also uses a form of deliberate democracy in the mayoral electoral process.

How does the game combine abstraction and realism in its workings? edit

Realism: The game models democracy accurately by showing the power the mayor has as a resource distributor but also how he must also take into consideration the opinions of his electorate.

Abstraction: All cities are equally powerful, even though this may not reflect the real situation. Players develop areas with no consideration to any external forces (e.g. government, local population.)

How accurately does the game simulate the decision-making processes faced by the real-life protagonists of its chosen subject? edit

The game is actually rather ambiguous as to who the protagonists are. Are they local governments? Solitary property barons? Or something else altogether? Regardless, the game does present some considerations of these groups such as cost to reward ratio, but does not model the whole building process.

What political lessons can people learn by playing the game? edit

As the mayor a player learns the fine line between keeping the electorate happy and personal advancement thus showing a form of deliberative democracy.

How would you improve the structure and mechanics of the game? edit

- Bribe mechanic should either have a higher VP rating or should include monetary bribes to give the feature more weight and thus make use of it

- 5 VP developments should take 2 player token markers so the total stock is depleted faster for more tactical considerations

- Players should be able to upgrade 1VP squares to bigger developments at a reduced cost

Links edit