Ivan Marovic: Breakaway Games

It is human nature to resist change. So one might ask, how could a group hope to bring about major social, economic, political, religious or cultural changes in a non-violent way, or know if the means one chooses would provide the desired result, or create new problems? In this session, Ivan Marovic talks about a new game that helps address these issues. Through his experiences in the Otpor (resistance), Ivan Marovic was key in shaping a new online game where people can play out real world scenarios and strategies in a virtual world.

He began working on this new game, called 'A Force More Powerful,' a little over two years prior to this session. Within this virtual world, players manage every aspect of their movement, resources and characters to apply real world principles of human nature, conflict, the process of resistance, and ultimate successful resolution.

Through 'A Force More Powerful,' players can practice strategic scenarios such as battling corruption and social problems such as pain and suffrage, discrimination against women, or even to overthrow a dictatorship. Players can also use the Scenario Editor to create their own scenarios. A truly unique and innovative way of working through real life situations to see how effective given strategies might be before attempting them in the real world.

This talk was from the Serious Games session at Pop!Tech.

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Ivan continues to work with Otpor and is a trainer for The Center for Non-Violent Resistance in Belgrade.


From Cool Hunting:

During the Serious Games Summit, Douglas Whatley, CEO of BreakAway Games, showed their upcoming fall release, A Force More Powerful. It's a nonviolent strategic simulation game. The basic goal was to create a tool that enabled social movements to learn nonviolent strategic planning for implementation in oppressed societies. The project was sponsored by ICNC (International Center on Nonviolent Conflict). It will be distributed in multiple languages and easily accessible to other countries.

From Worldchanging:

"A Force More Powerful" clearly blurs some boundaries: it gives new leverage and scope to powerful worldchanging strategies like Gandhi's ideas of satyagraha through a video game format which convergences entertainment with proven tools like stimulations and role playing. So not only do we get more effective worldchanging but also for twice the fun! A great way to open up new channels and audiences for activism. Bravo. Of course, I have no idea if or precisely how it works in practice -- please let us know if you've played with this game -- but I'm glad the game exists because it represents just another reason why it's getting harder for tyrants to maintain their traditional stranglehold on power, and another case where we see increasing access to tools and processes and know-how previously confined to a precious few corporate and government planners and elite groups. And this is no concidence.