Teachers can use Peacemaker to teach 20th century geography, history, and current events focused on the relationship between Israel, Palestine, the surrounding countries, and their political partners around the world. Playing the game should help build students' empathy and gives students an opportunity to test hypotheses about what kind of government actions bring about peace or sow violence. With its closeness to real-life events, Peacemaker supports research and expository -- or persuasive -- writing projects. These projects could get students to dig into the most up-to-date information on Israel, Palestine, and their neighbors and other opponents and allies, or to take a historical approach and argue about the most significant events or causes/effects for/of specific conflicts or periods of peace. For students participating in mock United Nations or debate -- whether as a unit or in a club or team -- Peacemaker could provide some sound research and perspective to help craft arguments.Continue reading Show less
Peacemaker is a turn-based simulation game about the Israel-Palestine conflict. Players can choose to lead either society, and must work to curb violence and find a path to peace for both Israel and Palestine. Each turn, players get to implement one diplomatic, military, or political initiative and then see how that decision plays out. Some initiatives fail because stakeholders don't believe it's sincere or that there's enough stability for the plans to work. Occasionally (and sometimes triggered by player actions) positive and negative events pop up on the world map and must be tackled. To be successful, players must balance the competing wants and needs of his/her people and those on the other side as well as provide enough security for cooperation to take root, and continually mitigate violence; think Civilization meets The World Peace Game with just a few tense turns to go before catastrophe.
Peacemaker is a great resource for teaching kids about the Israel-Palestine conflict. It uses real-world issues and archival footage of real events to create a slightly dated but still compelling game for kids to explore. Moreover, the compromise, empathy, and problem-solving skills needed to successfully bring about less violence and more peace should stick with players long after they quit Peacemaker. Failing at peace is so frustrating and saddening that players will remember what worked to bring their virtual societies peace. The decisions students have to make -- like whether to order a missile strike or other attack -- are challenging and hard to forget. And it's rewarding to achieve peace through more constructive measures like cooperating on security, investing in infrastructure, and rebooting trade.
Key Standards Supported
Reading History/Social Studies
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.
Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis.
Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.
Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.
Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author’s claims.
Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.
By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 9–10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).
Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.
Evaluate authors’ differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors’ claims, reasoning, and evidence.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
Evaluate an author’s premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.
Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.
By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 11–CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.