Overline: Game
Headline: Torfitz: "That's the same as here!"

Although structural transformations of the kind unfolding in Lusatia affect everyone, young people are rarely involved in decision-making processes. And yet everyone should have a say in shaping the future! The research project "Social Transformation and Policy Advice in Lusatia" at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) has developed a simulation game for six to 30 players in cooperation with game developers "Playing History".  The game, which is suitable for younger audiences, was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).


Introducing the new game, which is designed as a planning or role-playing game, Saxony-based teacher and test player Robert Jünger reports that after three minutes of play, one 12th grade student declared, "That's the same as here!" Jünger compliments the game as an "ideal introduction" because of its playful approach to the topic of structural transformation. "The game raises awareness around economic issues - and it's fun," he concludes. However, there should always be some time after playing to reflect and talk about it, he advised other teachers who want to work with the game. Teachers can order the game free of charge from Brandenburg State Agency for Civic Education.    

Facing an uncertain future? Getting involved is the solution

Ricarda Budke, youth policy spokesperson for the Green Party in Brandenburg's state parliament, emphasized how rarely research projects in this field produce output specifically for young people. In her opinion, however, it is important because otherwise they would not be involved at all. Encouraging young people from the age of 14 "to get involved and be creative" was the intention of Martin Thiele-Schwez, who spoke as managing director on behalf of game developers Playing History at the game's virtual launch.

"Torfitz - The structural change simulation" can be used in educational work in both formal and informal educational settings. It is designed for schoolchildren from the ninth grade upwards, trainees and students. Torfitz is set in a fictitious region with fictitious towns, but takes its cues from developments in Lusatia. With many regions and municipalities across Germany facing similar challenges, the game will find attract attention nationwide. Torfitz was developed by researchers from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam in cooperation with Playing History. The game can be ordered free of charge by teachers and other education providers from July through Brandenburg State Agency for Civic Education.

More about Torfitz: https://www.iass-potsdam.de/de/torfitz