From time to time we receive requests of a slightly unusual nature: be it because they cannot be clearly assigned to one of our thematic areas, be it because they are new to us in terms of method and implementation, or because the request comes from a completely new place. With this project, it was all of the above.
The request came from Hansemuseum Lübeck. We were asked to develop two simulation games for a special exhibition on the topic of the European Consensus: one historical game on the Hanseatic Convention of 1518, and one with a more contemporary feel, on the European Council of 2018. These were to be facilitated with visitors to the "European Consensus" exhibition (and also later as part of the permanent exhibition).
The development of simulation games is of course nothing new for us. But a museum as a client and a simulation game on a historical topic are. While we are usually well versed in current political topics (or quickly familiarise ourselves with them), this was not the case with the topic of the Hanseatic League. The cooperation with the museum in developing the materials was close, especially since the simulation game was supposed to depict the topics and actors of the historical Hanseatic Convention as closely as possible.
In addition to a guided tour through the museum, we were particularly helped and impressed by the scientific expertise of the museum staff in researching the content and designing the game materials. Special demands were also made on the design and layout of the materials. The idea was to make the participants travel to the time of the Hanseatic League. For this purpose, not only were the materials illustrated with custom-designed illustrations of the time - printed on parchment-like paper - but also all kinds of other utensils typical of the time were produced (quills, town pennants etc.).
In order to avoid the second simulation game on the European Council falling short in comparison, we invested a great deal of attention to detail in the materials accompanying the game. What is particularly pleasing about this project is that both games are still regularly played with visitors to the Hanseatic Museum in Lübeck - giving the participants an interactive impression of political negotiations 500 years ago and today. By the way, there are clear parallels: While back then, the size of herring barrels within the Hanseatic League was a hot topic for debate, today it is the standardisation of the rules in the European internal market.