Human Security Challenge

The Human Security Challenge takes place on a board that symbolises a virtual world. Six fictive nations invest in security and aim to gain the most power by the end of the last game round. The dynamics are similar to issues that world leaders grapple with: limited resources, crises, conflict and international negotiations. The players face crucial trade-offs between long-term stability and short-term national interests.

The game is developed by Human Security Collective and Perspectivity.

How do you play the game?
The game starts with a short explanation of the rules. The game participants (24 people ideally) are divided into two times six groups. There are two game boards. Each game board represents the world and the teams each represent a (invented) country. During the game, the countries can expand their security by imposing security measures across their country, which yield capital to invest for the next round of the game. The objective is to generate as much power as possible from the security measures at the end of the game. There are ten rounds in the game. When the rounds are over, the game is finished with a debrief that encourages an appreciation of the benefits of mutual cooperation and of long-term sustainability.

The world is becoming increasingly complex and this calls for appropriate tools on how to deal with the world’s commons. The Human Security Challenge aims to provide players with insights into the dynamics at play and to stimulate reflection on collaboration between different players with different interests and perspectives. The Human Security Challenge is a variation on the Perspectivity Climate Challenge, which is based on the tragedy of the commons and complexity theory. The Human Security Challenge was developed by Perspectivity and the Human Security Collective.

What will you learn? 
The Challenge focuses on hard and soft measures of security and is used as a tool to start the conversation about the different aspects of security. The game is designed in a way that ensures the participants gain an improved understanding of the complexity of security issues and also helps them reflect on how they, as individuals, make decisions and position themselves in relation to each other.

Fun facts

  • Human Security Collective has integrated this challenge in their work with young community leaders in the MENA region and beyond. They have found that playing the game is a useful way of discussing conflict and cooperation on a macro level, before then contextualising the conversation to human security on an individual/the community level.

Game details

Who should play this game?
Everyone can play this game. It can be particularly interesting for aid workers, public administration, local communities, NGOs, policy makers, youth and law enforcement services.

How many people can play this game?
The ideal number is 24 or higher multiples of 12, but different numbers are possible.

How long does this game take?
Approximately 2.5 hours (including a good debrief)

In which languages is the game available?
English and Dutch. The game can easily be translated and upon request versions in other languages can be arranged.

More info?

  • Contact us
  • Eager to play? Keep an eye on our agenda for upcoming Open Game sessions