I have used this game in teaching both youth and adults about the social services available locally for people with needs related to health issues. It is almost always a hit and creates great discussions about the strengths, weaknesses and inequities in the health care system. Please feel free to use it and modify it to meet your needs. I would appreciate a mention of Youthwork Links and Ideas (http://www.youthwork.com), but it is not required.
I recommend that you print these directions separately and that you print the character profiles as one page each. To do this highlight the text you want to print, click on print in your file menu, and then choose the "Print Selection" option. If your printer does not give you a "Print Selection" option, or something similar, select the text and copy it, then open your word processor and paste the text into a new document. You can then print as you usually do.
Time Needed; Approximately 45 minutes for 6 players
Game board and directions
A character for each participant
An assortment of candies or other small treats
Game markers (a different one for each person)
Prior to the Game
Print these directions
Print a character for each participant. If you have more than 6 participants, create more characters.
Open the playing board and substitute local agencies and organizations for the ones on the board.
Print the playing board (2 pages). Depending on your printer you may have to tweak it a bit so that all the text prints out. The board is done in color, but it will also work in black and white. I like to tape the board to the inside of a manilla folder. This provides some protection and stability. The cover page is optional.
Assemble small candies or other treats to place on each of the agency squares. The total number of treats placed on these squares should be slightly less than the number of players times the number of needs for each character. Color coding and/or a chart of which treat equals which organization is helpful here.
Assemble additional treats for the center section which people who have met their needs can use for their own gain or to help others. Some of these treats are labeled with specific agency names and some may be used for any service.
Once you have the preparation done, this is a simple game which follows the rules of most board games.
Each person chooses a character to portray.
Players, in turn, throw the die and move their marker to the space determined by the throw.
If a player lands on an agency/organization space, and she needs the service provided by that agency, she may take the treat and check off that need on her character sheet. The other players must agree that the agency does indeed provide the service. Players can not "abuse the system".
If all the treats are gone from an agency space, resources are depleted and no service is provided.
If a player lands on any space other than an agency, she must follow the directions.
When a player has met all the needs of her character, she advances to the center of the board and must decide whether to take all the treats for herself or to share them with other players.
Some Processing Questions:
How real was this game and why?
When did you feel that the "system" was meeting your needs and when did you feel that it was letting you down?
What is our commitment to meeting people's health care needs?
What is our comitment to meeting needs for social services?