ToughRoad is an “interactive event” with the focal point for the global trading system.
It is an educational game and role playing game in which participants act – and negotiate – with each other. All participants are assigned an individual role. The roles are given at the beginning of the game where each player draws a “role card” describing the character and situation.
Part of the transactions are done from the players’ computers in which they access by logging on the game server of ToughRoad. This gives access to functionalities for both peasants, exporters, brand companies, banks and brokers. Especially, banks and brokers are dependent on having access to the game through a computer.
The game server regularly sends preprogrammed news. Besides specific functions for exporters, brand companies and peasants, the system also includes a banking system, a stock exchange, a global news service and a SMS generator that sends preprogrammed messages to the respective players.
The roles are similar to those found in the global trade with coffee. Specific circumstances and the players’ own actions are crucial to how they are performing. The roles are peasants, traders, exporters, bank employees etc. from South and North as well as companies, consumers and a stock exchange in the North. In addition, journalists follow the game closely. Read more about the individual roles
You play to win. The winner is the one who performs best financially. This requires that you survive. Those who die go to another workshop.
The rules of the game are presented and explained in advance. Uncertainties along the way is determined by the game master. In addition, a number of instructors are available to inform and motivate the participants.
The course of the game
The game runs for 6 hours including introduction, follow-up and a single break.
The game is built up chronologically in 10 rounds. The rounds last between 10-30 minutes. However, the first round lasts for 45 minutes – the equivalent of a year in real life and 10 years in total.
How the game develops depends on the participants’ mutual purchase, sale, competition and cooperation. It is all about surviving and winning.
In addition, a number of “global news” are encoded in the game – typhoons, financial crises, new trade agreements etc. Other events are individual. One player will inherit – another one will get a child. This information will be sent via SMS to the players’ mobiles.
The government, NGOs etc. also have an influence on the players’ destiny and on the course of the game.
The players who die during the game are sent to the workshop where the journalists are. They shall help the journalists.
The workshop begins with a reflection of what went wrong for each player. After, there will be production of short films, articles etc. which are uploaded on ToughTimes for post processing.
Framework and resources
The event takes place over a large area of at least 800-1000 m2. 7 rooms are needed to the bank, stock exchange, brand companies and exporters as well as a common room to the cafés and traders. Further, there must be access to water so that the cafés can brew coffee as well as there need to be access to graphical aids in the form of a printer. All students must have access to a computer with internet connection and 5 teachers must be involved actively in the game. They will receive instructions prior to the game.
One day with ToughRoad costs DKK 115 per participant or at least DKK 10,000 plus transportation. The amount includes the cost of four external instructors, preparation, computer network, decoration and materials.