Local politics, boring? It exists, the political life beyond federal and state politics! Who knows how many districts the federal capital Berlin is divided into? And who governs in the districts? The new simulation game project "Planspiel Bezirkspolitik" takes on Berlin's local politics and sheds light on the work of the district councils (BVV). 

In 90-120 minutes of play time, participants experience the negotiation of a fictitious motion that has been put on the agenda in the BVV. There are three possible topics: The establishment of a bicycle lane, the development of a district-owned area and the lighting in a park marked by accidents and crime. The players become representatives of a fictitious parliamentary group, develop positions on the motion in short parliamentary group meetings and try to convince the members of the BVV meeting of their respective positions for the subsequent vote. 

The simulation game is technically supported by our simulation game platform Senaryon, which provides the role profiles, the task descriptions and the voting tool. The simulation games are moderated by facilitators from the Berlin libraries. 

No two games are the same, each group negotiates differently. Some groups try to find cautious compromises, others do not even consider alternatives to their actual party positions and find a failed vote better than a bad result. In the test run, however, one thing was consistently present: the extensive fun factor of all participants. 

The simulation game should encourage a change of perspective, reflect the diversity of interests, train negotiating skills and the ability to deal with conflict. The processes and structures of district politics are also conveyed - albeit in a simplified form. In addition, the project is intended to provide an incentive to get involved politically not only in the district elections by going to the ballot box, but also to make use of the opportunities for participation at the local level: residents' motions, question times, complaints, and much more.

From now on, all upcoming simulation game events will be published on the project website www.planspiel-bezirkspolitik.de. Participation is free, registration is easy, and no proof of Berlin residency is required. The simulation game theme "Lights on, lights off?!" is written in simple language and is intended to allow access to the game especially for those who have difficulty reading German or whose native language is not German.  

Many thanks for the enriching cooperation go to our client, the Association of Public Libraries in Berlin (VÖBB), and to the Tagesspiegel, who created this project idea and supported its implementation.  

Would you like to test your knowledge of Berlin's BVV right now? Try it out here with the BVV quiz: https://planspiel-bezirkspolitik.de/

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