Bullets and Ballots

By:Grace Gill

Why Humans Migrate

Claim: Humans migrate depending on conflict and cooperation between social groups.

Meaning depending on a person's situation sad or happy people move around. For example, if someone was happy where they were but got a job offer which could make their life better they will probably take the offer. Vise versa if a person is sad, scared etc. they can leave a place to go and have a better life. People migrate depending on their needs and wants in life.

My Experience

During the three days of the Bullets and Ballots game there were many times people migrated. Most of the time it was optional other times it was forced. During the simulation there was capturing and killing of the government. This is an example of forced migration, the "killed" government were forced to migrate over to the Guerrillas and stay their til the end. I did not believe it was a good solution to anyone problems but I sat and stayed out of it. While watching this all play out I noticed how even though it seemed like everyone was cooperating and being peaceful there was a lot of background deception. On the exterior you could say everyone was playing nice with no violence or anything like that...yet in the end every social group in the room was turned against each other. I was part of the US government and our job was to let thing play into our hands and make sure that nothing became a threat to America. We were there to keep the peace and to be careful. I thought that the peace created between the 5 social groups could last so we could have a peaceful election, unfortunately I was wrong. Everyone was deceived by each other. In the end the Army and Wealthy tries to take over. We could not let a group so dangerous take over the whole country. So the US gov. took over. We redistributed the MSUs and elected a president and vice president. I feel as though our actions were for the best. It was a way to give the power back to the people and take two dangerous groups out of power. This was an experience that opened my eyes to the fact the world ,even in a classroom reenacting past events, is not a place where everything is out on the table. People have motives some of which can get people killed in the process.

I believe the future of Guatemala will be better than when we started. I know it will not be 100% ok and that may never be achieved but you need to start with baby steps. The US may have been in it for themselves but think about it we are still trying to do what is best for Guatemala and her people. I think the poverty level will decrease not by much but it will be a lower percentage compared to the beginning of the game. I think that the Guatemalans may despise the US a little and try to blame us for everything that has happened to them but the only reason we got involved was to protect the people from destroying themselves. I think there will be a lower murder/killing rate because of the redistributed MSUs. Yes the government may still be corrupt, but not everyone there is so there will be more protection from violence, blackmail etc. The people now have some more power then before and this will ,in my opinion, appease the crowds.


I believe that everything that we did in the game reflects the Enduring Understanding. We had created cultural mosaics even if we didn't know it. Our beliefs,how we wanted to run the country, and the reasons why was all part of cultural mosaics. During the peaceful period we had, everyone seemed to get along but when something good happens it needs to balance out with something bad. We saw that balance after reviewing the treaties there were many hidden items in every treaty. Deception was involved with everything anybody did. I believe that my experience proved the "Enduring Understanding" good and bad situations were balanced out between the social groups. There was a lot of migration between everyone whited caused cultural mosaics to change. I believe that the balance between conflict and cooperation was the only way to get to where we went. I do not believe it was just one factor.

Enduring Understanding vs Real Life (My Experience)

A social group that can be related to the "Enduring Understanding' is ISIS. With the people involved in the "war" with ISIS can all be separated into the same social groups from the simulation. First off the US is still grouped into the US gov. category. They are still in it for themselves and keeping the country safe. Once ISIS started capturing and beheading American Citizens that is when the US started weaseling its way into finding and destroying ISIS. Another social group involved is the Syrian/Iranian government. Just like the Guatemalan government they do not have a lot of power over what is happening. They are just trying to protect themselves and a selected few. They do not have the resources to protect everyone in the country in though they do try. The peasants in this situation are all the people in the Middle East that are caught in the cross hairs. They have no power on the situation they are in. Just like in the Bullets and Ballots game they are trying to fight for a better life. They are just trying to survive no matter what it takes. The fourth social group can not really be seen as a social group but a place the large city of Baiji, Iraq. This is how I am connecting the Army and wealthy into this real life situation. ISIS was able to take over the largest oil rigs in the Middle East by the sheer man/machine power they had. By taking over the oil rig they are able to make a lucrative living. Oil is a pesky business to be in because everyone wants it even if its from a terrorist group. Just like the peasants in the B and B simulation people are willing to align with dangerous people to get what they want if they are ambitious enough. For example B and B simulation the peasants aligned with he Army and Wealthy for more votes and then double crossed them. No one has really aligned with ISIS preset but oil is oil and there is a fragile tie holding together cooperation. The last and final connection is ISIS they are represented by the Guerrillas. They are dangerous and violent but have war tactics. Having the Guerrillas deceive the US gov by hiding a hidden meaning in the treaty we signed was a sneaky move to get all of our MSUs. ISIS is also sneaky if they didn't have a mastermind they would have been caught a long while ago. ISIS believe the world should be run their way. Using their religion they believe there should be stricter laws for everyone. They truly believe that they are doing what is right. We see it as terrorism they see it as fighting a war for their beliefs. They are an extremist group which makes them dangerous so we need to be careful but even after killing/ capturing many people they still believe they are dong the right thing.

Enduring Understanding's in My Life

I am a part of many social groups. I would not have really recognized them until your class. I am someone who likes bringing people together and dislikes drama. I am never part of drama but I will always hear some altercations in my friend groups. Just in school I am part of different social groups. I stay connected to my old friends from Hood and even those friends have their own social groups they may not be the classics like geek, jock etc but they are social groups. I hang around a lot of Auburn students at lunch and there is one moment that sticks out to me where one girl at one table was fighting with another girl at my table. Like I said I like bringing people together (for goodness sakes I was a peer mediator for 3 years) both of these girls are my friends. I tried talking to each person to reason with them but both of them wouldn't listen. I will have to admit there was a power shift I had taken the side of the girl who sits at my lunch table which may have caused the fight to last longer than it needed to. I tried staying neutral but I did take the side of the girl who I knew more it was an incognitos design but like in the game you will have allies and you will have foes. In the end they don't much talk anymore but I got them to drop the topic. This is just like in Bullets and Ballots/ real life you make a mistake which can lead to a fight. That fight can either lead to death and destruction or to a mutual peace. Countries may still hold a grudge after being offended but it will still keep a peace. You can glare all you want but no firing. I predict there will be many fights within all of the friend groups I am part of, some resolutions lead to a happy peaceful ending and others will lead to an ending of a friendship. I will try to be that one friend who tries to keep everyone together but I can't control the events. I can only try to push for the outcome I want.

My Six Word Story

Conflicts, created and solved between people.