Prospects of Democracy through Gamification
“Board games help people to learn about things gradually,” said by Aung Thu Hein, the programme manager of Friedrich Naumann Foundation. “SIM Democracy was created for that purpose to educate people about democracy through interaction and kinesthetic learning.”
Myanmar is transiting to democracy and it is important for people to learn about the aspects of democracy for the country to move forward faster. Meanwhile, games are important catalysts to raise the awareness of people’s understanding towards democracy.
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) introduced SIM Democracy board game, first developed by FNF Thailand Office, in Myanmar in October 2014. Since 2017, FNF Myanmar Office has been partnering up with Panna Institute, a local NGO, to reach a wider educational network so that the latter can integrate the game into their existing curricula.
“SIM Democracy is a multipurpose tool that can be integrated into many activities whether it is a civic education or voter education or a human rights training. As long as the activity is focused on one aspect of democracy, it can be used as an educational tool,” Naw Mai, Senior Play Coach of the SIM Democracy, mentioned it during the workshop, which was held at Panna Institute on March 7 2019.
FNF Myanmar Office reunited previously-trained SIM Democracy play coaches to discuss about the future of SIM Democracy Game in Myanmar. The participants in Yangon were invited to attend the workshop and provided their feedbacks in the morning. In the evening, the participants strategized to further develop SIM Democracy’s network in Myanmar.
“SIM Democracy is not just a game for democracy education. It also provides an opportunity for the youth to think critically which is lacking in Myanmar’s education system,” Dr. Thet Naing Oo from Yangon University of Education spoke.
Many SIM coaches are enthusiastic to extend their SIM Democracy network and to increase their SIM Democracy Game activities. They brainstorm how to integrate SIM games in their existing activities so that they could raise awareness and understanding towards democracy more intensively before 2020 election. As a positive externality, SIM Democracy game is expected to serve as a platform for its players, esp. the youth, to practice their critical thinking skills.
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom is pleased to organize SIM Democracy Game workshops and witnesses to see the willingness of its SIM Democracy Game coaches to prosper one of FNF Myanmar’s objectives, civic education for democracy development.