In honor of last weeks SXSW, it’s my privilege to introduce the new website Alter Endeavors created for Statecraft, an international relations simulation. Created by Dr. Jonathan Keller 12 years ago as a pen and paper simulation, Statecraft was applied, researched and tweaked in college classes for a decade before the concept was introduced to Joe Jaeger, a Trinity University graduate student.
Joe was introduced to the power and intrigue of Statecraft by his sister, who was in an International Relations course using the pen and paper version of the simulation. Seeing an opportunity to take a revolutionary education system and make it digital, Joe convinced Dr. Keller to partner with him and founded Digital World Construction.
Two years later, Statecraft is online in 31 colleges and universities in the United States, and 6 schools across the world – Canada, China, England, Germany, Iceland, and Norway.
The brilliance of Statecraft is its versatility – set in a fictional world but paralleling real world situations, resources and problems. No two simulations are ever the same. Students invest time, emotion, thought, and theory into this game. Over fifty international relations theories apply to Statecraft. Disturbingly, students find themselves unwitting architects of historical recreations like every major war in the past 200 years as they fight for objectives, goals and the greater good of their own personal countries.
Studies have shown that Statecraft drastically increases student engagement with class material, and traditionally C-level students become B and even A-level students.
Statecraft might perhaps be one of the most important educational advances in international relations of the century. We can only hope that tools like this digital simulation will better prepare our future politicians, economists and policy makers as we move towards a more global community.