Social (Worker) Games

Last week, my wife Ann participated in a “poverty simulation exercise” for people who work with the impoverished. Ann is a school social worker who concentrates on helping out homeless students, so she sees a lot of this in her job. The Janesville Gazette ran an article about the exercise and how it worked. The paper ran a photo of Ann with the article, but the website is not graced with it.

As Ann described the event, I immediately recognized it as a live-action roleplaying game. It would not have been out of place at any gaming convention, with the exception that the players were there to learn rather than to have fun. This was a simulation, not entertainment. Coincidentally, Ann played a 12-year-old boy named Matt, and the irony ensued.