On this page, we share historical simulations that require engagement with primary sources. The methodology is based on Reacting to the Past but is not affiliated with the Reacting Consortium.

The first game is Halls of Mirrors: Peacemaking in Paris, 1919, played in History 105 at Bishop’s University.

In this simulation, students divide into groups to simulate delegations to the Paris peace conference, called in 1919 to discuss a peace settlement after the First World War. Each student will be assigned to play one participant in the conference, and to simulate both that individual and the country they are representing. This simulation is an exercise in participatory problem-based learning. Therefore, active participation in some form is expected of everyone. You will have a chance to meet in your group, then to develop proposals. Each group should come up with talking points, and then collaborate on writing them up. You will also be expected to write at least two short pieces of writing on behalf of the individual you are simulating. Finally, we will meet in plenary sessions in which all groups will be given the opportunity to debate and vote on key issues.

— Halls of Mirrors game description

This is followed by Bandung 1955: The Search for Independence. Simulating the conference of 29 Asian and African countries that eventually led to the Non-Aligned Movement, it uses role play and documents to ask students to confront issues of political and economic colonialism and true self-determination.

Independence was meant to lead to a better life for people through economic growth. It was supposed to lead to a more fair world, with the former colonies treated as equals. The world was promised peace, but instead plunged into Cold War.
And where were the deaths and destruction of this new confrontation? Not in Europe, but in Asia. Rather than the promised freedom, Korea was dissected into two, then its prone body fought over in a Cold War proxy battle. The lot of the former colonies is still poverty. Their advances are blocked by the wealthier countries, by a lack of capital for economic development, by dependence on raw material exports to a world market that sets the price in Europe or America. Every country is asked to choose a side in the Cold War, as if the former colonies were still pawns and not free agents.
Bandung aims to change that. You arrive in a chaotic tropical city in a country not long out of war. As the American (or French, as he is now) writer Richard Wright put it when he landed, customs agents work with “A great deal of smiling good will but an appalling amount of inefficiency.” Bandung’s “heat was like Turkish bath; the humidity was higher than in the African jungle.” In Indonesia, as in so much of what another French writer has started to call the “third world,” post-colonial society is poor and desperate. “Family relations have been replaced by factory and financial relations, and the resulting picture of brutal and direct commercial activity is of a nature unknown even in cities like London, New York, or Paris,” as Wright puts it. But amidst the “hot mud hole “of the Indonesian city is a country whose people are working hard to move ahead and whose leaders are well-educated and well-spoken as anyone in the cities of Europe or America.1
The Cold War has spread across the world, engulfing lands that know nothing of the United States or the Soviet Union. With independence won, how shall the new countries of Asia and Africa face the Cold War dilemma and the challenge of economic development in a Cold War world?
— Bandung 1955 game book