FAENÓN: a 3D quest to understand politics

Paolo Rivas - BA in Political Science and Government, Peru

The Project

FAENÓN is an innovative approach to citizen education through board games. Using a dynamic approach, we intend to transform the process of teaching the complex nature of politics and to replace purely theoretical lectures into an interesting class dynamics that engages the attention and participation of tomorrow’s citizens. We need to incentivize students to think critically about their own political behavior and the profound difficulties behind the achievement of public good. Through “learning by doing” we hope to teach how the negatives externalities of public practice (such as corruption, party rivalry, unfulfilled promises, business lobbies and administrative inefficiency) have an impact in our life as citizens.

FAENÓN will be place in a fictitious country in which a President and his advisors have to deal with national and private interests in conflict. Negotiations will be necessary if any of them would want to succeed in their secret tasks. To win FAENÓN, the most important skill students have to demonstrate is to avoid being politically naïve and unnecessarily unfair. Students shall think strategically and take hard decisions if they want to survive rounds. In addition, they must be extra careful because opponents might use all their resources available to destroy their assets in order to obtain some kind of leverage.

Game Changing Factor

This project is unique because it creates a dynamic and adaptive framework to learn about corruption. Through simulated experience this projects tries to teach students the consequences of individual and unlawful acts in a conflicted small community and the complex decision-making and negotiations that a leader has to take in order to maintain the public interest or what he believe is the best for the community.

Why I fight Corruption

What has really changed my perspective on corruption is realizing how a lack of citizen engagement can significantly affect the overall performance of our public institutions, decrease awareness of the importance of fighting corruption and deteriorate the legitimacy of our democratic regimes. A lack of citizen engagement does not translate immediately in actions of corruption. But a disengaged public makes it easy for corrupt leaders to get away with their actions and, therefore, increases the possibilities of dealing with corrupt public officers. Dynamic connections and a concerned public are extremely important for transparent and accountable institutions. Focusing only in tackling corrupt actions will not be an efficient strategy in societies where electoral programs are less likely to be supervised by a committed citizenship. We need to re-educate our citizens of the importance of sight seeing their authorities. In order to achieve this goal we will need to give then a new, different and more interactive approach to their understanding of politics.