Simulation game? What’s that? I asked myself as I walked with the crowd towards the auditorium. Sitting down, Mr. James told us that this game would help us figure out how to adjust to work with other people in other cultures. Dividing us up into two groups, he said that one group was considered “The people of Za” and the other “The people of Na”. Each group was given a set of guidelines as to how their “culture” worked. The goal of the game was to be able to successfully interact with the people of the opposite culture. The two groups moved into separate rooms and the game was begun.

At first, we concentrated on learning our own culture by trading paper cards with other members of our culture. Then, a few people switched “countries” to try to learn how to live in the other “country”. After a few minutes, these few people returned to their respective countries and attempted to explain how we were to survive in the other culture.

After a slightly sketchy explanation by a few members of my culture, we all headed over to the other “country” to interact with the people there. It was quite hard for me to be able to do this, however, because the officials of that country failed to give me the appropriate papers when I entered their “country”, so I was forced to try to make the appropriate papers out of some paper kicking around.

Although my experience was slightly different from everyone else’s, we all had a little bit of difficulty trying to navigate through the miscellaneous trials of entering a new “country”. Am I supposed to sit down when I’m trading, or stand up? Am I supposed to use this card, or the other? Does having long hair make a person rich, or poor? When they ask me if I have a big family, what should I tell them? All these questions were very confusing to me. Some people did very well, and others weren’t able to figure out how to live in the other culture. Through this experience, we all realized that you really need to prepare before trying to get around in a different place, like Mongolia, for example. Saying or doing certain things could be offensive in other places, so you need to be careful. The game was quite interesting and those of us who played it had a lot of fun and learned a lot.

Edison Swartz
Grade 11