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The Game of Politics Simulation: An Exploratory Study
Unformatted Document Text:  committees with emphasis on the House Rules Committee, the Senate and House Budget Committees, and the importance of conference committees. This specific version of The Game also highlights the significance of the media, president, and the executive staff. Jansiewicz (2007) also provides a cogent description of The Game’s policy outputs consisting of, “.…legislation, the budget, executive orders, and occasionally, court decisions” (11). The Story Lines make for a dynamic simulation game. These distractions from business as usual can involve sexual scandals, major domestic and military threats, natural disasters, racial strife, demands for constituent services and pressures from interest groups, the media, other policymakers, anthrax scares, espionage, or actual attacks. About half of the Story Lines are placed in folders for the legislative standing committees, the executive staff, and the media to pick up at the start of each new session and the remaining Story Lines are distributed at 30 second intervals shortly after the session gets underway. Often, similar to what may occur with national policymakers, student role players may become overwhelmed by these unexpected intrusions. Jansiewicz (2007) effectively describes the value of these Story Lines, “They (students) will see that there is a whole lot more to American politics than just churning out budgets, executive orders, and court decisions. They will see that governing involves a constant balancing act over a multitude of matters….Without experiencing these ‘other’ factors, their understanding of American politics would be incomplete” (16). The class size limits the number of roles assigned. And since this is not a tightly structured simulation game, students are free to seek any of the available media, legislative, or executive slots described in The Manual’s Biographies Section. Positions are assigned based on the written Profile Sheet each student is asked to complete and submit. On this sheet all students rank their first four position choices, describe their ideological and political leanings, and write a brief essay on why they feel competent to fill each of their preferences. Students are also encouraged to list any roles they definitely do not desire to hold. Participants are free to propose their own legislation or select from The Game’s 180 bills, which include descriptions and fiscal notes. Many bills are highly controversial and often provide spirited

Authors: Kahn, Melvin. and Perez, Kathleen.
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committees with emphasis on the House Rules Committee, the Senate and House Budget Committees,
and the importance of conference committees. This specific version of The Game also highlights the
significance of the media, president, and the executive staff. Jansiewicz (2007) also provides a cogent
description of The Game’s policy outputs consisting of, “.…legislation, the budget, executive orders, and
occasionally, court decisions” (11).
The Story Lines make for a dynamic simulation game. These distractions from business as usual
can involve sexual scandals, major domestic and military threats, natural disasters, racial strife, demands
for constituent services and pressures from interest groups, the media, other policymakers, anthrax scares,
espionage, or actual attacks. About half of the Story Lines are placed in folders for the legislative standing
committees, the executive staff, and the media to pick up at the start of each new session and the
remaining Story Lines are distributed at 30 second intervals shortly after the session gets underway.
Often, similar to what may occur with national policymakers, student role players may become
overwhelmed by these unexpected intrusions.
Jansiewicz (2007) effectively describes the value of these Story Lines, “They (students) will see
that there is a whole lot more to American politics than just churning out budgets, executive orders, and
court decisions. They will see that governing involves a constant balancing act over a multitude of
matters….Without experiencing these ‘other’ factors, their understanding of American politics would be
incomplete” (16). The class size limits the number of roles assigned. And since this is not a tightly
structured simulation game, students are free to seek any of the available media, legislative, or executive
slots described in The Manual’s Biographies Section. Positions are assigned based on the written Profile
Sheet each student is asked to complete and submit. On this sheet all students rank their first four
position choices, describe their ideological and political leanings, and write a brief essay on why they feel
competent to fill each of their preferences. Students are also encouraged to list any roles they definitely
do not desire to hold.
Participants are free to propose their own legislation or select from The Game’s 180 bills, which
include descriptions and fiscal notes. Many bills are highly controversial and often provide spirited


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