On Peace Games.

Posted: September 28, 2018 in Articles, Documents etc., News, Notes

On PEAGE GAMES. Training Course in Slunakov, Czech Republic. 26 August – 3rd September.

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It’s time I guess to write about a great experience I had about a month ago.

It all started on the 26th of August in Slunakov, an amazing ecological home near Horka nad Moravou village . A building based in the middle of a green preserved area functioning with respect towards the environment and the people. A  peaceful place to be.

There, I met up for the first time with the rest of the participants, people from all over the world. Romania, Argentina, UK, Ireland, Italy, Czech Republic, Greece, Germany, Madeira Island, Hungary, Turkey, Slovenia, Spain America and Russia! A big wave of different names  and cultural backgrounds  hit me but soon it all became very familiar and I felt like I was living in a unique multicultural family , and every single member of it had so much to teach me.

 

Those 8 days  were a big, long journey filled with new explorations, challenges, debates and games.

We had practical and theoretical sessions on how to structure and design a game. We also had to deal with stressful  tasks such as “building the tallest #LEGO tower”, which sometimes costs more than you imagine! We learned about teamwork and team organisation, the mechanics of creating a game and shaping a narrative. And to go deeper we tested our values and discussed over the values promoted by the messages that we get bombarded on a daily basis by politicians, adverts, the TV, the press and other social groups.

 

Now you ‘ll probably start thinking why the hell this course was called “PEACE GAMES”… well I was thinking the same; until we watched the movie …”War Games”.

Ok!  No!  (This movie is integral to the course for various reasons I am not going to explain. If you want to know more just watch the movie and/or go attend a “Peace Games Training Course” )

The real way to find out the mystery of this course was to link the idea of games to our society. And that again happened through more discussions and a deeper understanding of games. Ranging from racist and sexist, violent online video games[1] to “finding your real love” board games[2]. From old classic games such as Dungeons and Dragons [3] to theatre improvisation games and card games where cheating[4]is finally allowed (!). From running free and wild into the field having the goal to “HAVE FUN”  to playing obsessively “Overcooked”[5] until 3am. From games that killing crabs[6] can actually destroy your life to games that the lack of communication can blow everyone up[7]. (Definitely tried my best! ).

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But what was puzzling me was the fact that even though most of the times games create imaginary words with amazing graphics and endless possibilities they are indeed the mirror of our “REAL” world (although as trainer Michele said there is not such thing as real and unreal world. It all belongs to this world).  Only, this mirror shows what is actually missing from peoples’ lives. Imagination, communication, trust, bravery, achievement, goals, awards, risk, rebellion, companion, fun and freedom.

Let’s think how many of these we can identify in our everyday life?

As the week went by I started understanding that the wide range of games exist to attract different groups of people. But isn’t this a creation of the adult world too. A separation of worlds within a world? The development of more and more boxes labelled in different ways. How possible though it is to be able to jump from one box to another? Like we did that week, in that training course, following our own preferences and priorities but also accepting and trying and playing.

Everyone is different and that’s why there are so many different games. But what if the ideal Peace Game is playing ALL of the games? Acquiring skills and knowledge from all of them without judging or creating personal barriers. Entering different dark caves and crossing thresholds again and again. Meeting trolls that become your best friends and tricksters that by tricking you they help you find the right path. Enjoying that moment of playing rather than wishing is not going to end. Celebrating winning but also celebrating losing!  Embodying your character and knowing it is still you , the real you.

Only one week was enough to appreciate the real value of “Peace” and “War” games. The essence of having a goal and either alone or with a team trying to achieve it!

And what if that goal was to change the world? How would you play this game?

Well we tried…by creating even more games!

Games that language can make you a king [1], or where the sea animals can probably hear the desperate attempt of you to save them[2]. Games where you have the power to change the earth’s fate[3] or others were you have to YOLOmoc[4] or end up  mass- debating[5] .

It may all sound we were just going crazy… but I can reassure you it was one of the most enriching experiences I ever had. Inspiring, challenging and FUN!

Because at the end of the day, playing is part of our nature and the reason we grow old is because we decide at some point of our lives that playing is not as important any more. So I challenge you… go and play any game that makes the hidden inner child laugh again. Someone , some time said … life is a game. Just then we decide the rules. And these rules make the society we live in and the REAL world as it is. So keep playing and choose your rules because otherwise, someone else will…. But don’t forget in this game.. you only have one life.

 

Over and out,

Eleni

 

*References of games mentioned above:

  1. Anita Sharkeesian beating game (which I recommend you don’t try)
  2. The Fog of Love (attention this game can lead to marriage! )
  3. Dungeons and Dragons (which I recommend you playing at least once in your lifetime, but remember #gollumslivesmatter)
  4. Schummel Hummel ( Game designed by kids.  Wonder why?)
  5. Overcooked (not suitable for easily irritated people)
  6. The Visit  (very misleading title! )
  7. Keep talking and no one explodes.  (well…)

 

*Games created during the training course:

  1. A-Mazing Words
  2. The Sound of the Sea
  3. The Last Ones
  4. Yolo(moc)
  5. The Devil’s Advocate

 

A big thank you to Erasmus + and the training team of War Games : Carmine Rodi Falanga Mafalda Morganti and  Michele Di Paola

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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