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Gaming Political Science

Congressional Politics

Gerryminder Redistricting Simulation

Gerryminder, developed by Jeremy M. Teigen and Jeffrey A. Gilbertson, is a free, online redistricting simulation designed for undergraduates learning about congressional elections, representation, and gerrymandering. It uses real election data at the county level in Iowa. By putting students in a position to manipulate district lines themselves with a measure of "fairness," Gerryminder provides a non-boring, experiential way to teach redistricting.

Legislative Simulation

Legislative Simulation, or LEGSIM, features a non-scripted environment for college-level students to experience the personalized politics of legislative activities.

The Redistricting Game

The Redistricting Game is designed to educate, engage, and empower citizens around the issue of political redistricting. Currently, the political system in most states allows the state legislators themselves to draw the lines. This system is subject to a wide range of abuses and manipulations that encourage incumbents to draw districts which protect their seats rather than risk an open contest.

By exploring how the system works, as well as how open it is to abuse, The Redistricting Game allows players to experience the realities of one of the most important (yet least understood) aspects of our political system. The game provides a basic introduction to the redistricting system, allows players to explore the ways in which abuses can undermine the system, and provides info about reform initiatives - including a playable version of the Tanner Reform bill to demonstrate the ways that the system might be made more consistent with tenets of good governance. Beyond playing the game, the web site for The Redistricting Game provides a wealth of information about redistricting in every state as well as providing hands-on opportunities for civic engagement and political action.

The Game of Politics©

American government simulations use role playing to make American politics come alive. These national government classroom or online simulations create an active learning experience, and are appropriate for political science or government classes, continuing education courses, civic education conferences, community organizations or elder hostel.

Articles, Books, and Conference Papers

Baranowski, Michael. 2006. “Single Session Simulations: The Effectiveness of Short Congressional Simulations in Introductory American Government Classes.” Journal of Political Science Education 2(1): 33-49. Abstract

Bergerson, Peter J. 2012. "Politics and Public Budget: Agency and Legislative Decision-Making." Paper presented at the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, Washington, DC, February 17-19. Contact

Bernstein, Jeffrey L., and Deborah S. Meizlish. 2003. “Becoming Congress: A Longitudinal Study of the Civic Engagement Implications of a Classroom Simulation.” Simulation and Gaming 34(2): 198-219. Abstract

Blackstone, Bethany, and Elizabeth Oldmixon. 2019. "Simulating the Legislative Process with LegSim." Journal of Political Science Education DOI Abstract

Ciliotta-Rubery, Andrea, and Dena Levy. 2000. “Congressional Committee Simulation: An Active Learning Experiment.” PS: Political Science and Politics 33(4): 847-51. Abstract

Cowley, Philip, and Mark Stuart. 2015. "Whipping Them in: Role-Playing Party Cohesion with a Chief Whip." Journal of Political Science Education 11(2): 190-203. Abstract

Dolan, Julie and Marni Ezra. 2000. CQ’s Legislative Simulation: Government in Action. (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press)

Endersby, James W., and David J. Webber. 1995. “Iron Triangle Simulation: A Role-Playing Game for Undergraduates in Congress, Interest Groups, and Public Policy Classes.” PS: Political Science and Politics 28(3): 520-3. Abstract

Hoffman, Donna R. 2009. “Representation and the Rules of the Game: An Electoral Simulation.” PS: Political Science and Politics 42(3): 531-5. Abstract

Josefson, Jim, and Kelly Casey. 2000. “Simulating Issue Networks in Small Classes Using the World Wide Web.” PS: Political Science and Politics 33(4): 843-846. Abstract

Lay, J. Celeste, and Kathleen J. Smarick. 2006. “Simulating a Senate Office: The Impact of Student Knowledge and Attitudes.” Journal of Political Science Education 2(2): 131-46. Abstract

Lyons, Michael S. 2013. "Total Immersion: Taking a Congressional Simulation to the Next Level." Paper presented at the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, Long Beach, CA, February 8-10. Contact

Mariani, Mack, and Brian J. Glenn. 2014. "Simulations Build Efficacy" Empirical Results From a Four-Week Congressional Simulation." Journal of Political Science Education 10(3): 284-301. Abstract

Mitchell, Jocelyn Sage. 2019. "Virtual Integration in U.S. Senate Campaigns: An Active Learning Tool for Teaching American Government." Journal of Political Science Education 15(2): 206-217. Abstract

Moser, John E. 2011. “Senate Baron: A Simulation of Politics in the U.S. Senate, 1933-1942.” Simulation and Gaming 4(2): 496-525. Abstract

Niven, David. 2013. "Passing a Law is Harder than Organic Chemistry: Measuring What Was Learned in a Congressional Simulation." Paper presented at the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, Long Beach, CA, February 8-10. Contact

Parker, Sara. 2014. Mock Congress Workbook: Simulating the House of Representatives. Cognella Academic Publishing. Abstract

Ray, Bruce A. 1981. “A Legislative Simulation.” Teaching Political Science 8(2): 213-216. Abstract

Sands, Eric C., and Allison Shelton. 2012. “Learning by Doing: A Simulation for Teaching how Congress Works.” PS: Political Science and Politics 43(1): 133-8. Abstract

Swansbrough, Robert H. 2003. “Familiarity Breeds Respect Toward Congress: Teams in the Classroom and Workplace.” PS: Political Science and Politics 36(4): 769-72.

Teigen, Jeremy M. 2005. "Gerryminder: Teaching Undergraduate Redistricting with Hands-on Mapmaking." Paper presented at the Midwest Political Science Association Conference, Chicago, IL, April 7-10. Abstract

Wilkinson, John D. 2012. “Get Out of the Way! How a simulation changed how I think about teaching, turned on my students, and ruined my other classes.” Paper presented at the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, Washington, D.C., February 17-19. Contact