From Gender and Tech Resources


On the spot simulations

These simulations vary from being as small as one person (knowing about it) such as for making small changes (see inspirational resources below), to small groups of friends helping each other change a story like I can't say "no" to larger simulations where people explore shared emotionally loaded events that came up during a retrospective, and can also be folded in as "motifs" when coming up in a larger themed simulation such as Simulation: The Alpha Complex.

These types of simulation hardly need props (save maybe for some pillows) but some, especially when done in the context of retrospectives and larger themed simulations require facilitation skills, authenticity, and personal invisibility from its facilitators and moderators. Rape, pogrom and genocide experiences can come up, so do have a safety net.

Standalone simulations

These are simulations pre-loaded with an environment, props, and a specific purpose, and usually fit in one room. The required "psychology component" is low but the props may require a bit more effort.

Game of life simulations

In Simulation: Game of Goose the rules of a well-known "game of life" have been changed to get rid of limiting beliefs about our capacity to work together in the game of life. Games like Game of Goose can prepare the way for solidarity networks. For example, if your location is under a gagging law and you can be fined or arrested, someone else can post your message.

Simulating technical concepts

Some complex technical concepts (evolved or designed) can be understood much better when simulated. And great fun. Playing that sticky bit in a buffer (a row of chairs)? Games like Simulation: TCP congestion control, Simulation: Mixnets and Simulation: Mesh network routing nearly beg for the development of "montessori type" props, for example 16-bit, 32-bit and 64-bit "letter boxes" for simulating headers that in its subspaces can hold a single GO stone (black and white simulating 0 respectively 1 and coloring and numbering stones 0 up til 7 for octal stones, coloring with another color featuring the numbers 0 through 15 for hexadecimal notation, etc. Creativity beckons.


Not in a safe space but low risk anyway, roleplays like Power Transposition Spell or How to Subvert Institutional Authority through Graffiti and Other Tactics in 13 Steps, How to Hold Up A Bank and How to Crash a Conference fit this kind of enjoyable harmless undermining (of disconnection). I daresay we can come up with some more plays of our own. ;)

On-demand designed simulations

These are on-demand, but unlike "on the spot" they do use design whether that be planning variations on a core simulation theme or completely made from scratch. When serving threat modeling, a great way to reduce the fears and playing out all usual scenarios a collective is involved in, in a safe environment.

These simulations can be big, as big as open space events can be, and can easily cover an entire building. The largest I've been in involved around 50 people simulating an organisation that mined for scrabble letters, had a transport path to "upstairs" where among other product groups, one group made poetry with the mined letters for delivery to a very particular customer that didn't take any poetry shortcuts and workarounds. Oh, and there were some nasty quality managers lurking around, as well as a union representative (mostly in the mines where regularly the lights went out if the company couldn't pay the bills), and a nasty banker constantly harassing our CEO to the point where the only job the CEO was doing was exchanging with the banker instead of leading the company.

Tactical application

Strategic application

Long term planning simulations allow us to try out different scenarios, roles (mindsets), forces, designs (virtual environments) and ways of organising the simulation itself in different environments, like Simulation: The Alpha Complex and its counterpart play Simulation: Solidarity Network.