Culture: Patterns and Processes

Unit 3 By Courtney Velho

#1 What groups are involved, who had the power?

The groups that had an impact on the game were the Army and Wealthy, Guerillas, Guatemalan Government, Peasants, and the United States. At the beginning the Army and Wealthy had 200 MSUs which put them far ahead of every other group. We had the most economic power and we had influence over the Guatemalan Government. The Guerillas had 60 MSUs. They did not have a very good relationship with most of the other groups and they lacked authority power. But they did have influential power because they placed attacks against groups and they were signing treaties with other groups. The peasant had no MSUs which resulted in little power. But where they did have power, is that they had double the votes of anyone else. The United States had a lot of power during the stimulation game. They were set in the middle of the room so they could watch everyone at any given time. They had the most authority over everyone. They could sign a treaty with another group, or the could place a takeover at any time.

#2 How the balance of power shifted and WHY?

During the stimulation game, the power between groups shifted very frequently. For example, the Guerillas kept sending offensive attacks on my group, the Army and Wealthy. As a result of the attacks, the Army and Wealthy lost MSUs while the Guerillas gained MSUs or vise versa. Another example would be, the power of votes throughout the game. The peasants had double the votes of any one else in the game. They power shifted so often during the game because treaties happened, deals happened, compromises and conflicts happened. There were treaties made in secret so that only the people involved knew and the others were notified after everything was in effect. The treaties were often made in secret and because of this, the power changed frequently. But at the end of the game, the United States had a large amount of power and authority so they placed a takeover. They decided to distribute the most MSUs to the government because they signed a treaty to promise that they were going to be a democracy.

#3 How was cooperation and conflict shown in the game (violence/corruption/war)?

Throughout the game, cooperation and conflict appeared many times over the three months. An example of conflict would be that the Guerrillas sent an attack on the Army and Wealthy every month. This caused the Army and Wealthy to lose soldiers and lose MSUs. But, on the third month the Army and Wealthy placed a counterattack on the Guerrillas. It resulted in a win for the Army and Wealthy. Another example of conflict would be that towards the end of the game, the Guerrillas owned the power of silencing. They happened to pick our candidate for president to silence. That caused a lot of conflict between the Army and Wealthy and the Guerrillas. However there were examples of cooperation throughout the stimulation. The Guatemalan Government made a deal with the peasants. The deal was that if the peasant gave all of their votes to the government, then the government would guarantee them better living conditions. Cooperation happened when the United States sent economic aid to the peasants of Guatemala. They sent the peasants $10 million so they could get a reasonable education. Cooperation and conflict played a huge role in the flow of this game.

#4 What role did the United States have on the stimulation?

The United States had a huge impact on the way the game worked. They were the "watchdogs." If you needed any help with a decision, you would most likely go to them because their authority power level was really high. For example, the United States gave the peasants $10,000,000 for education. At the end of the game, the United States placed a takeover on the whole game. After the takeover was in effect, they distributed the MSUs to the groups with the amount that they think the individual groups should have. The United States had some of the most influential power amongst everybody in the game.

#5 What happens to a country when power shifts, is the effect positive or negative?

For my group, the Army and Wealthy, the power shift was always a negative thing. At the beginning of the game, we had the most power standing with 200 MSUs. When the power was swapped between groups we feared that our power was soon going to get taken away from us. As the power shifted through the groups during the game, we began to lose our power as others began to rise in power. We did not like that one bit. The Army and Wealthy only wants the Army and Wealthy to be in power, no one else. It had a negative effect on us because we, as a group, don't want others to raise to our level in power. If that were to happen, then we would lose our authority and we would be just another group.

#6 Apply this information to your life. What relationships do you have in your life, how are cooperation and conflict evident?

Cooperation and conflict are aspects of everyone's life. There are many examples of cooperation in my life. First off, my friends and I share our clothes very often. But to make it fair between everyone, if you borrow something from someone, you give that person something to wear that is yours. This is an example of compromise between my friends. An example of compromise between my family would be that if they go to a hardware store like Home Depot than they have to go to one of my clothing stores. I don't like going to those stores because I think that they are extremely boring, so to make me go, they give me the option to go wherever I want afterwards. Conflict is also an example in my life, that happens quite often. For example, my mother always like to go through my phone, and look on my social networking sites, but I hate that. My mom and I always get into fights because we have different inputs of opinion on the situation. A second example of conflict would be when I have a bad soccer or basketball game, my parents think that it is necessary to yell at me. I've told them time and time again, that I already know I had a bad game so I don't need to be informed about it again. There are many more examples of conflict and cooperation that I could think of. It happens in everyone's life.