I have impro­ved my fast-thin­king stra­tegy along with crea­ti­vi­ty in "Play­ing Politics"

I came across the semi­nar with lack of know­ledge about how poli­ti­cal world runs its sys­tem. I was taking inter­na­tio­nal rela­ti­on major during my fresh­men year and ins­tead of piling up my know­ledge so that I can make it appli­ca­ble for future refe­ren­ces, I was stuck into ambi­guous thoughts of shif­ting the major as none of the les­sons see­med rele­vant to app­ly. I am glad to have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to be one of the seminar’s par­ti­ci­pan­ts in "Simu­la­ti­on Game of Play­ing Poli­tics" as I got a chan­ce to final­ly be able to app­ly the know­ledge I have had in mind for so long into some­thing practical.

We had an oppor­tu­ni­ty to be play­ers for cer­tain rounds within the games. I have expe­ri­en­ced a lot of things as a play­er such as chal­lenges, pati­ence, coope­ra­ti­on, fast-thin­king, trust, and self-con­trol. We play­ed seve­ral types of games which requi­red us to work indi­vi­du­al­ly or with a part­ner. We were given some hand­outs that would tell us what to do and the steps of the games were also writ­ten on the paper. The­re were a lot of chal­lenges on the way as all of us as the par­ti­ci­pan­ts had our own pace of under­stan­ding how the games work. We took quite a while to ack­now­ledge the pur­po­se of the games, the mate­ri­als, or even we took lon­ger to choo­se which games we would do next as most of them were quite inte­res­t­ing. I had a hard time under­stan­ding what was going on also as the­re were a lot of ten­si­ons within the room. Ever­yo­ne had their huge desi­re to win the games and the ego was quite taking over the situa­ti­on. When the ten­si­on ari­ses, someone had to slip in bet­ween and tried to calm it down but the cir­cum­s­tances were got out of hand cou­ple of times.

We nee­ded a total amount of pati­ence play­ing the games as usual­ly some peo­p­le would get stuck and con­fu­sed during the games. I per­so­nal­ly had that moment whe­re I had no idea what to do next and how I should do in terms of par­ti­ci­pa­ting with­out inter­rupt­ing the pro­cess and I was glad that I had a part­ner to get me through the enti­re games. As I said at the very begin­ning, we also lear­ned about coope­ra­ti­on during the simu­la­ti­on. I remem­ber we had to play an elec­tion game whe­re we tried to get the socie­ties or par­ties’ atten­ti­on so that we could get the vote from them. I work­ed with a part­ner who sup­po­sed to make a per­fect duo in order to give the best election’s speech. We impro­vi­sed the who­le speech and we final­ly made it to get a high vote. During that time I rea­li­zed that I have impro­ved my fast-thin­king stra­tegy along with crea­ti­vi­ty as my part­ner and I had to quick­ly com­pi­le our speech ide­as based on what the oppon­ents were orating.

Being a play­er also taught me about trust. At some point, other play­ers put their trust on me by offe­ring their coope­ra­ti­on — based of kind­ness. It was tru­ly hard to belie­ve as the start of the game I was about to lose as we all play­ed indi­vi­du­al­ly and ever­yo­ne wan­ted to be a win­ner. In the midd­le of the game, someone offe­red me his help and it was quite sur­pri­sing and it has increased my trust issue’s level. Every time I play­ed the game I would have easi­ly ima­gi­ned mys­elf on how I would do every step of the game in real life and when someone offe­red me a help I would lite­ral­ly dou­ble check the reason behind a person’s kind­ness. Based on what I lear­ned one day befo­re the semi­nar, we were dis­cus­sing about ratio­na­li­ty among man­kind and what I remem­ber, almost ever­yo­ne will do some­thing in terms of their favor which indi­rect­ly giving me an idea that the­re is a reason behind an open hand. As com­pli­ca­ted as it sounds, I sim­ply tried to find a mea­ning behind the man’s act of hel­ping me through the about-to-lose moment and when I found out about his sin­ce­re kind­ness, then I rea­li­zed that I just found out one of his weak­ne­s­ses. It might sound bad for some peo­p­le when they know I have misu­s­ed someone kind­ness and tur­ned him down to get to the hig­hest point but ever­yo­ne got into games to win,
and if someone didn’t come to ful­fill his desi­re to win, then he weren’t sup­po­sed to play in the first place. The les­son is oppo­nent stays oppo­nent and once we got into the batt­le, the court is ours to own.

It was real­ly sur­pri­sing that some peo­p­le would easi­ly make coope­ra­ti­on with their own reasons of kind­ness becau­se I belie­ve that not a lot of poli­ti­ci­ans out the­re would app­ly this atti­tu­de. I per­so­nal­ly had a hard time to choo­se whe­ther I wan­ted to coope­ra­te with others or not as the trust issue I men­tio­ned befo­re had spil­led all over me. That was one of my dis­co­veries of my own beha­vi­or. I also dis­co­ver­ed my public spea­king skil­led as I nai­led the elec­tion games with my part­ner. I was the type of per­son who is always lazy to talk and usual­ly peo­p­le mis­in­ter­pret this act as shy. I was told cou­ple of times not to be shy but at some point the thoughts I have in mind usual­ly have been spo­ken up by someone else. During the elec­tion games, I was glad that I had my time to do my own speech so the lazi­ness excu­ses couldn’t come in my way. Com­pared to the other play­ers, I have dis­co­ver­ed that ever­yo­ne wants to be heard, ever­yo­ne spo­ke up their asser­ti­on with huge pas­si­on and most of them vol­un­t­a­ri­ly wan­ted to go first to have their opi­ni­ons on the first line.

I am the type of per­son who would love to lis­ten by allo­wing peo­p­le to talk first and when some­thing is miss­ing that would be the time I come in bet­ween but I rea­li­ze that if I have ano­ther oppor­tu­ni­ty to be invol­ved in a games or dis­cus­sion I need to chan­ge that atti­tu­de and start to be more acti­ve cau­se in any les­son or dis­cus­sion, both ways have to recei­ved know­ledge. If I have the second oppor­tu­ni­ty, I would also want to be more pre­pared, I remem­ber I could not even finis­hed to read the enti­re ins­truc­tions for the games as we sup­po­sed to skim through it at least befo­re the semi­nar. If I would have read all of them I am sure I would have play­ed the games with less con­fu­si­on. More pre­pa­ra­ti­ons means more stra­te­gies on the list and that would total­ly make it easier to come up with bet­ter decis­i­on during the simu­la­ti­on, and high chan­ces that it would pro­ba­b­ly get me to the top.

Apart from being a play­er, we also nee­ded to act as an obser­ver. Being an obser­ver was kind of hard as we nee­ded to know how they run the games with­out put­ting huge amount of inter­rup­ti­ons to the play­ers. I had a hard time under­stan­ding what was going on so I nee­ded to skim through the rules again while the game was on the pro­cess. When the ten­si­on was at sta­ke, it was one of the most inte­res­t­ing moments to watch as I per­so­nal­ly think that when the play­ers spo­ke up their issues, it is easier to ana­ly­ze what was going on and it was easier to under­stand how the game ran. I per­so­nal­ly think that we can gain most of the know­ledge by being an obser­ver as we could easi­ly walk around and hear the enti­re dis­cus­sions from each play­er, hear out their stra­te­gies, hear out their per­spec­ti­ve over cer­tain issues and for me being an obser­ver means being impartial.

Ano­ther thing that was inte­res­t­ing to obser­ve was how the decis­i­on making was made in order to crea­te rules on our own. At some point, some rules on the game nee­ded to be added in order to make ever­y­thing went smooth­ly and at that time the play­ers one by one spo­ke up their ide­as on what nee­ded to be chan­ged, how they inter­pre­ted the rules that are writ­ten on the papers and what they thought were neces­sa­ry to be used/not which remin­ded me on my very first rese­arch ques­ti­on on how ratio­nal choice affec­ted decis­i­on making in poli­ci­es formation.

Annisa from Japan, 2017