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Gaming Political Science

Welcome to the Gaming Political Science (GPS) website! The site consists of over 380 published articles and books and conference papers on the use of simulations, games, and role-playing exercises in political science courses. As the acronym suggests, the goal of the website is to assist political science faculty in guiding students down different avenues of learning in the classroom. Simulations, games, and role playing assignments involve the creation of simulated or hypothetical scenarios that provide participants with life-like problem solving experiences. These classroom activities are important supplements to traditional pedagogical methods and they offer a type of laboratory experience not often found in social science and humanities courses.

A wide variety of simulations, games, and role-playing activities can be incorporated into political science courses in just about every area. Examples include brief “you decide” problem-solving situations that require only a limited amount of class time, to more sophisticated simulations that cover an entire semester and even some that involve multiple classes at different universities. There are a number of simulation activities that boost student learning outside the classroom as well, including Mock Trial teams and Model United Nations.
The GPS archive is designed to be user-friendly. In the left margin, the first section contains pedagogical articles on the challenges and benefits of incorporating active learning exercises in the classroom and how to design these activities to maximize student learning outcomes. Following the general information section, websites and publications are organized into the various teaching fields of political science. There may be some overlap to the categories. For instance, an article placed in the international relations group might describe an activity that can be used in a comparative government course or a reference may be listed in two or more subcategories. Most of the references contain a hyperlink to an abstract of the article and a few, if in the public domain, contain the full text.
Please send me your suggestions or comments about the site or contact me if you have a published article or conference paper for the archive. John Fliter, jfliter@k-state.edu 785-320-1468 (cell).
This project was made possible through the financial support of the Provost’s Office at Kansas State University. I owe a special thanks to my graduate research assistant, Chelsey Eimer, who collected and organized many of these articles, and Julie Fosberg for her technical assistance. Finally, I appreciate the help of Victor Asal, Nina Kollars, Chad Raymond, Amanda Rosen, and Simon Usherwood, who shared material from their short course on simulations and games for the political science classroom.
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