SIMSOC Special Event
SIMSOC 2007 - Saturday, June 23rd.
Ever want to raise your own private army and lay waste to your rivals? Be the chief of police and crack down on crime? Or a start a revolutionary struggle against the bourgeois? Dream of leading a coup and installing yourself as dictator? Want to go on a hunger strike to highlight some injustice? Then give SIMSOC 2007 a try on June 23rd.
A lot of people have been asking What is SIMSOC? SIMSOC can be thought of as a live-action version of The Sims combined with cutthroat drama of Survivor. In SIMSOC, you will play the role of an individual trying to stay alive in a society with no rules, no institutions and no boundaries. Your primary goal is to provide for your own subsistence before the end of each session. How you do that is up to you: get a job, steal from others, beg, ask friends for some or buy subsistence from another player. If you do not get subsistence, you die and are out of the game. Once you have made sure you have enough to eat, you are free to pursue your own personal goals be famous, acquire the most resources and money, raise the most powerful army, live a life of luxury, command the most workers, build the most profitable enterprises or anything else you can imagine.
Be mindful as you pursue your own personal goals, your actions (and the actions of others) will impact four key social indicators describing the health of your society. If any indicator gets to zero, the entire society collapses and everyone loses. So at some level, a degree of cooperation might be needed. Still, if your one of your personal goals is to make society collapse, nothing in the game will prevent you from doing this.
SIMSOC is a game wide open to your interpretation and imagination, apart from some basic natural laws, you and your peers are free to set up whatever rules, boundaries and institutions you feel are needed. Want to organize a strike at your factory? Go ahead and do it. Feel like arresting your boss and taking all the company assets for yourself? No one is going to stop you. Want to be president? Get together with some friends and form a government. Interested in taking on the role of a powerful labor boss? Use your money to create a gang of thugs or bribe other players. Feel like doing nothing? Be unemployed. SIMSOC is a blank slate and only comes to life with your imagination and through face-to-face interactions, negotiations and exchanges during the course of the simulation.
We hope you this explanation answered the questions you might have (if you have more please ask). How you win the game is up to you. However, this is NOT one of those games where everyone is a winner, but as you have learned above, everyone can lose. If you want to see this simulation in action, RSVP for this event via PayPal? using this link: http://tinyurl.com/2gf29g . We are asking everyone to donate $8.00 to defer the costs of the event (mostly photocopying) and pay for lunch. Thank you very much for your time and we look forward to your participation.
There is a lot more detail in the rules on how the game is played, how to acquire resources, the different roles and description of the natural laws. We encourage you to check them out and plot your strategy. The rules can be found in our files section in the file labeled "SIMSOC.doc".
What is SIMSOC (pronounced sim-sock) and why would you want to attend? SIMSOC is a fast-moving, role-playing game, where players will cope with the day-to-day problems of governing their society while they examine the nature group dynamics, interpersonal relationships, power, communication and leadership. SIMSOC has no pre-programmed outcome. Success or failure is dependent upon decisions made by the players and the creativity of the group. To be successful, players must utilize every basic social process from cooperation and reward to threat and punishment. Specifically, SIMSOC will address the questions surrounding how we understand and implement the people and interactions aspect of the Agile Manifesto (http://agilemanifesto.org/)
Some of the topics that may be illuminated by your play may include:
- What is the nature of power? Is power taken or given?
- Why do actions from leaders sometimes cause the opposite effect they intended?
- Under what conditions will an organization choose to self-organize? What conditions will foster dependency?
- What factors encourage subgroups in an organization to integrate with each other?
- Why do some groups choose to remain separate?
- What types of communication enhance the speed of change?
- How does leadership play a role in encouraging and discouraging change?
- How much of change is based on trust and personal relationships between the participants?
- Do organizational institutions enhance change efforts or act as an impediment?
- How do people with different, and often times competing, personal goals come together and act toward a common goal?
- How does our role in an organization alter our perspective and our response to change? To others members in our organization?
- Plus much more
If you are searching for firsthand understanding of the forces that determine the success or failure of organization, then try your luck at SIMSOC. You will walk away with a new perspective of social dynamics and the conditions which ferment change. SIMSOC was created by noted sociologist Dr. William Gamson to examine the role of leadership, organization, power and social change, and has been in use for over 40 years in both the business and the educational world.
This is an RSVP only event to be held on June 23, 2007. XPSD will provide lunch and all the materials you will need. To defer the costs of hosting the event, we are asking each participant to donate $8.00 via PayPal? using this link: http://tinyurl.com/2gf29g . SIMSOC 2007 will be capped at 40 participants, so please register early to reserve your space. Final event details will be provided the week of the simulation.