For a full current list of games, see the Reacting Web Site at Barnard
These are the games that have been played at Trinity.
The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C, Mark C. Carnes
What to do about Socrates? He educated the people responsible for the recent bloodshed and terror. Maybe he angered the gods themselves with his blasphemy. Is that why Athens is a disaster? We have no government, no army, no walls, and no way to raise money. Who should rule? Should we return to our traditional democratic ways? Should we turn things over to the rich? Should we let the most educated rule as Socrates suggests? Maybe we should start by getting rid of Socrates himself. He is an obnoxious old man. You will need to read what he says carefully in the Republic to decide if there is enough evidence to get rid of him, or, maybe he will convince you that he should be in charge. You will have to decide. That is what the Game is all about.
Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wanli Emperor, Daniel K. Gardner and Mark C. Carnes
You may be chosen Emperor of all China with power of life or death over everyone. Or you may be "just" a scholar. The Academicians are the most revered men of all China, having been selected by a series of rigorous exams like taking the SAT's the LSAT and the MCAT several times over. As the cream of society, the Emperor will look to you for help in dealing with China's many problems. What can we do to prevent flooding on the Yellow River? How do we protect our borders? Should we allow the Christian missionaries into the country or not? Should we open trade with the West? But most troubling to you personally is the fact that the Emperor seems intent on passing over his first born son as his successor. As a country steeped in Confucianism and the reverence for position, this is a real challenge. You will need to study the ancient texts of Confucius and see if the Emperor is making a monumental error or if his decision is acceptable. But you will have to tread carefully if you try to correct him. You could loose your head.
The Trial of Anne Hutchinson: Liberty, Law, and Intolerance in Puritan New England, Michael P. Winship and Mark C. Carnes
You are trying to survive in the New World in a community of committed Puritan Christians. With the Bible and the teachings of John Calvin as your guides, you want to start a new life and take advantage of what Massachusetts offers. Governor John Winthrop has done a marvelous thing by establishing a democracy in Boston. But dissention has arisen the the form of Anne Hutchinson. She has different religious ideas than most of the inhabitants. Who is correct? Her ideas are very disruptive to the social order that Winthrop is trying to maintain. She says that as Christians, you are not bound by any rules of good behavior. What will happen to the good order of Boston if her ideas spread? She has been tried and found guilty, but her supporters want a retrial. If John Winthrop grants their petition, then you will need to reexamine her guilt or innocence. You may be Winthrop and run the colony. You may be the pastor and get to preside over the weekly church services. Or you may be new to Boston, just arrived from England. You will find these activities strange and interesting. Since Anne has already been convicted, the chance of her acquittal may depend almost entirely on how the new immigrants decide to vote.
Rousseau, Burke, and Revolution in France, Mark C. Carnes and Gary Kates
There is chaos in the streets. Heads are literally rolling. As a member of the National Assembly, it is your job to form a new government for France. Many issues face you. How to raise money forthe government, the role of the Church and its massive property holding, who should control education, how to maintain national security, what to do about the colonies. You must solve these problems quickly before the restless masses throw Paris into total chaos. And what about King Louis? What is his role in the new French Republic? If you are the King, then you want all the power you can get. Maybe there is some way to regain your throne and end all of the rebellion.
Kansas 1999 - Evolution or Creationism, David E. Henderson
The Kansas Board of Education has been "captured" by the religious right. They have just removed the teaching of Darwin's theory of evolution and of modern Big Bang cosmology from the school curriculum of the state. As a result, Kansas has become the laughingstock of the country. Scientific societies are working hard to reverse this ruling which threatens the ability of Kansas students to prepare for scientific and technical careers. Centrist Republicans are trying to reclaim control of the GOP. Democrats see this as a wedge issue to help elect Democrats, including Al Gore who is campaigning for President. But many members of the Board defend their decision as one that keeps the teaching of the religion of scientism out of the schools and protects the good Christian children of Kansas from indoctrination in the secular humanism of the liberal left. Shouldn't parents have some say in what their children learn and be able to protect them from ideologies that undermine the family's beliefs? So you are running for election to the Board to try to defend your own ideology. You will need to prepare campaign speeches and for debates with the other side. In the end, the voters will decide. In the mean time, you have to try to get as many of your supporters to the polls as possible and hope that the weather is favorable for them on election day.
Defining a Nation: India on the Eve of Independence, 1945, Ainslie T. Embree and Mark C. Carnes
The British are finished in India. They want out and have convened a conference to determine the future of this nation. What will replace the colonial power of Britain? India is a hardly a nation. The majority of the population is Hindu but there are regions that are majority Muslim. How can the rights of the minority be guaranteed? Will India fall apart in civil war or can a nation be formed that will protect the rights of the various minorities? Gandhi is a powerful force for nonviolence and unity. Will he prevail? Will the sectarian forces of radical Islam and Hindi throw the nation into chaos? You will be at the table when the crucial decisions are made.
Galileo and the New Cosmology, Frederick Purnell, Jr. and Mark C. Carnes
The Catholic Church is under attack. The Protestants of Northern Europe have embraced the new scientific theories of Copernicus and Kepler. In Italy, Galileo has invented the telescope and published his observations. Is the work of Galileo really science or is it magic? Should he be brought before the Inquisition for a full examination or should the Church change its stance in support of the cosmology of Ptolomy? You are there to help decide, but you also have your own agenda. You may want to be the next Pope. You may just want a palace in Tuscany. Whatever you want, you will need to work within the political system of Italy and the Vatican to get it. Good luck.
The Council of Nicaea - 325, David Henderson and Frank Kirkpatrick
Emperor Constantine has declared Christianity the official state religion of the Roman Empire. But only then does he discover that Christians do no agree on the most fundamental aspects of their beliefs. Who or what was Jesus and what was his relationship to God? How should the church be organized? What should be the rules of behavior for its leaders? What is the role of women in the Church? These are some of the issues that must be settled. Constantine has assembled the Bishops of the church in Nicaea. The outcome of this conference will shape the future of Christianity for millennia. The first order of business is to agree on a Creed which states the core theology of the Church. Some will attempt to use this creed to exclude their enemies. If they succeed, Constantine may fail to achieve his goal of unity. He will do everything in his power to assure that agreement is reached, but, given the animosity between the factions, he will have a fight on his hand.
Acid Rain in Europe 1978-1989 David Henderson and Susan Henderson.
The countries of Scandinavia are struggling with the effects or acid rain, and recent scientific data prove that the pollution is coming from the industrial giants of Europe and even from America. A series of international conferences to negotiate a treaty to control long range, trans-national air pollution constitute this game. If the nations are successful, pollution will be eliminated and the economies of Europe will not be seriously harmed. The Soviet Union and its satellites are also interested in participating. They can gain international standing and they can always ignore the agreements if they don't like them. This game is part of the Reacting Science curriculum which uses Reacting games to teach basic science. But other issues including environmental philosophy and economics will play major roles in the decision making process as well. And the political background in many of the countries will change during the game, adding another layer of complexity. During this period the Soviet Union is dissolved and the countries of Eastern Europe become fledgling democracies.