Here's some other cards -- Fiat’s purpose is to test beliefs and pose questions in a hypothetical space.
Goodman ‘95 – Professor Emeritus, School of Education, University of Michigan (Frederick L., “Practice in Theory,” Simulation and Gaming, June, 184-185, http://sag.sagepub.com.proxy.lib.umich.edu/content/26/2/178.full.pdf)
Simulation Games Those who deal with simulations continue to focus attention on the pressing question of verisimilitude ("the quality of appearing to be true or real" according to the American Heritage Dictionary). Consider the case of the University of Michigan's Interactive Communications & Simulations (ICS) computer-conference-based Arab-Israeli Conflict simulation that has, for a decade, connected secondary school students around the world to play the roles of five major political leaders in each of a dozen or so countries involved in this struggle in the Middle East. While a teaching assistant in 1974, Edgar Taylor initiated the Arab-Israeli Conflict exercise in a political science course at the University of Michigan. Leonard Suransky arrived at Michigan shortly thereafter and worked closely with Edgar on the development of the university version of the game. Edgar also worked with Bob Parnes, who in the latter half of the 1970s was designing CONFER, the computer-conferencing system that allowed us to extend the Arab-Israeli Conflict simulation to secondary schools around the world. Bob by then was also a veteran gamer, having worked very closely with me on the development of MARBLES. In the ICS, college students serve as mentors to the younger students to see to it that they, while playing their characters, stay in role with as much integrity as possible. No single economic or political theory lies at the heart of the exercise; there is no model that drives the game and determines the consequences of the players' actions. The college student mentors meet in weekly seminars to hammer out the advice they might give to the participants to keep their performance in line with anything that they know about that age-old conflict. It is, of course, still practice in theory because no one can be sure that what the students are doing would actually match with the world outside the game. However, because the actions taken and the consequences of those actions within the exercise are actively negotiated between the players and the mentors, the tentative and theoretical nature of the entire undertaking is conspicuous to the participants—whereas the action is de- tailed, exciting and absorbing. That, I submit, is an important step in the right direction. If one is going to build a simulation game around a model, in other words, around a specific theory, then the burden falls squarely on the designer to vouch for the validity of the theory. As economists and political scientists get better and better at modeling slices of their worlds, we may expect better and better games based on these models to appear. In the meantime, another approach may be taken. Simulation games can be turned around in the sense that participants can be switched from the role of players to the role of designers. This was the approach used in the line of the POLICY NEGOTIATIONS games that were developed at Michigan and elsewhere and in the extension of POLICY NEGOTIATIONS known as THE FLOATING CRAP GAME (Goodman, 1981). When this is done, the connections that the participants claim to see between various parts of the world that they themselves are modeling are rendered explicit for review, discussion, and revision. There is little reason to believe that actions that people take while playing such games would be the ones they would take or recommend taking in the real world. Neverthe-less, if people are designing a game with an eye to expressing their best generalizations about something, formulating rules that purport to capture the essence of some phenomenon as they have come to understand it, there are good reasons to believe they are behaving in a way that they would behave outside the context of the game. Put another way, they are practicing making theoretical statements; they are engaging in practice in theory. This twist on the meaning of the phrase "practice in theory" is discussed further in the next section.
Fiat isn’t real but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful--our form of experimental geopolitics through fiat is able to actualize new geopolitical presents and create emergent effects within interstate systems.Dittmer 15 (Jason, 2015; Professor of Political Geography, University College London; Editorial Board Member: Political Geography; Professional Geographer; The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship; Turkish Journal of Human Geography; author of Captain America and the Nationalist Superhero: Metaphors, Narratives, and Geopolitics (Temple University Press, 2013) and Popular Culture, Geopolitics, and Identity (Rowman and Littlefield, 2010); editor (or co-editor) of Geopolitics: An Introductory Reader (Routledge, 2014), the Ashgate Research Companion to Media Geography (Ashgate, 2014), Comic Book Geographies (Franz Steiner, 2014), and Mapping the End Times: American Evangelical Geopolitics and Apocalyptic Visions (Ashgate, 2010); “Playing geopolitics: utopian simulations and subversions of international relations,” GeoJournal, Volume 80, Issue 6 , pp 909-923) *gender modified*
Considering geopolitics in a world of becoming directs our attention to the way geopolitical spaces— such as games—are immanent and ultimately temporary: ‘‘[T]hough any species, thing, system, or civilization may last for a long time, nothing lasts forever. Each force-field (set in the chrono-time appropriate to it) oscillates between periods of relative arrest and those of and those of heightened imbalance and change, followed again by new stabilizations,’’ (Connolly 2010, 44). In such a world view, the geopolitical ‘present’ is produced out of the intersection of a range of temporal force-fields: e.g., the cycles of capitalist accumulation and crisis (Taylor 1996), the emergence of new technologies like Twitter (Pinkerton et al. 2011) the breakdown of a long-time dictator’s health (Masoud 2011), the tinting of an individual’s political perception by affect-imbued memory of past events. One of the many ways in which the present emerges out of the collision of both past and future is through play. Play and politics ‘Play’ is a deceptively simple term. Perhaps associated first with frivolity and childhood, the term broadens when we consider play in the animal world. In evolutionary theory, play contributes to the development of animal behavior and physiology, as well as the maintenance of cognitive and emotional stability. ‘‘Social play is not easily summarized, but play fighting, chasing, and wrestling are the major types recorded and occur in almost every group of animals in which play is found,’’ (Burghardt 2005, 382). It is clear that play is future-oriented, preparing bodies for future action and encoding new pathways between muscles, the brain, and the nervous system. In other words, play encodes the future into our corporeal selves, shaping not only our responses but our field of sensibilities. Equally, such play is done in anticipation of the future need for such responses and sensibilities. Anderson and Adey (2011, 1093) make exactly this point for humans in their discussion of disaster simulations in the UK, in which governmental actors play themselves in fantasy scenarios: ‘‘conditions of response are made present through the composition of particular atmospheres and sensibilities. And it is by making those conditions present affectively that the exercise can function as a technique of equivalence, allowing future events to be rendered governable.’’ Past play enables present action through embodied memory, enhancing capabilities for action (and arguably limiting capabilities for other kinds of action); the future is similarly brought into the present as an anticipatory impetus for training and action. Play emerges through the collision of these temporalities. It is important to note that in the above I am privileging a particular understanding of play, which can be critiqued as functionalist. As Tara Woodyer notes in her excellent review of ludic geographies (2012), there is a spectrum of play, from the improvisational and unstructured (paidia) to the formal and structured (ludus). When play is formalized through competition and rules, it becomes a game, and games have been observed to limit the amount of experimentation vis-a´-vis improvisation (Katz 2004), and therefore might be understand as enforcing social roles and orthodoxy. Games are a popular metaphor for social processes because, like society, there are rules that shape behavior and outcomes. For example, the association of American football with discourses and physical capabilities associated with war, and the related relegation of girls to the sidelines as cheerleaders representing the home front, has been criticized as the reproduction of social roles perpetuating the gendered national security state (Gagen 2004). However, as this research will show, highly-coded games are nonetheless spaces of improvisation. As Woodyer (2012, 318) puts it, ‘‘Playing works through aspects of the mimicked activities that are somewhat mysterious; identities, social relationships and sociomaterial practices are played with as details are tweaked or wildly (re)imagined.’’ Therefore, I would argue that the paidia/ludus spectrum is misleading in that it generalizes about types of play (e.g., tic-tac-toe games are ludic while fantasy role playing games tend toward paidia) rather than recognizing that individual enactments of a game can fall at various points on the spectrum. It is my contention that the specifics of games matter, not only in which game is played, but in how individual games unfold. Each game is necessarily its own unique assemblage of game, context, and players. Each game is thus also its own world, which necessarily has a spatial dimension. Game spaces have been referred to elsewhere as the ‘magic circle’ (Klabbers 2009). Entering the magic circle entails a crossingover from one world to the next, with its own rules, morality, and so on. Nevertheless, the magic circle is at best leaky and at worst nearly impossible to spot as you cross it (Castronova 2005). Games are experimental spaces set apart from, and yet folded into, our everyday world. Ingram (2012) conceptualizes experimental geopolitics as occurring through four elements: staging, play, modulation, and effects. ‘Staging’ refers to the preparation of the game or, in Deleuzean terms, the coding of the assemblage. As the term ‘staging’ implies, this coding is always spatial, providing space for performance. ‘Play’ refers here to the simulation’s enactment. ‘Modulation’ is the ongoing process of re-coding undertaken during the simulation, reminding us that these assemblage spaces are intentionally created, and may or may not be allowed to deviate from expectations. Finally, Ingram identifies the emergent ‘effects’ of the assemblage as systemic output. It is these that re-shape the simulation but also ripple out into tangential worlds (like ‘ours’). These effects can be regressive or progressive, or neither. Therefore, it is important to recognize that games are crucial sites of the political. A game can be highly structured and yet an individual enactment of it can be unexpected in its outcome, or in the style of play within the rules. Such deviance can be explicitly political in its intent, but it is far more likely to be tacitly political and driven by a carnival-like pleasure in improvisation and unbounded vitalism. Play then is not just about participating in games, but it is a way of participating in games, or work, or conversations, or anything at all. ‘‘In this sense, the proximity of play is self-perpetuating as the vitality emerging from it encourages one to be more responsive to others,’’ (Woodyer 2012, 319). As an everyday sensibility that can be carried over into various spheres of life, play is more political than simple resistance to rules and social norms. Summing up Experimental geopolitics and the ‘magic circle’ of games/simulations both represent spaces that are set aside from, and yet are fully part of, ‘our’ world (Shaw and Warf 2009). Each experiment or game is an assemblage that, when actualized, produces emergent effects (DeLanda 2006; Cudworth and Hobden 2011). While these gameworlds are virtual, they nevertheless produce actual effects through embodiment in habit and experience, which can be drawn upon in future political rationalities (Connolly 2002). This focus on embodied action can be juxtaposed with MacDonald’s (2008, 623), argument that ‘‘playing at or with war is a constituent part of warfare itself.’’ In other words, the emergent effect of ‘the inter-state system’ is as much the result of people playing at diplomacy and geopolitics as it is the stuff of tanks, ambassadors, and passports. Given the inability of realist IR theory and neoclassical geopolitics to account for the complexity and interconnection of social systems in our world (Cudworth and Hobden 2011), it is worth imagining a whole swath of games that purport to mimic the world of geopolitics and IR as utopian in that their coding, algorithms, and ludic structures produce spaces in which reductionist notions of geopolitics and IR can unfold without the messy complexity of real life. Using games as a proving ground for neoclassical geopolitics and realist IR theory hardly segregates the ideas from people’s geopolitical imaginations and perceptions. Rather, gamers shuttle between these worlds, learning the algorithms that are the key to game success with the possibility of applying them in ‘real’ political contexts: As the player proceeds through the game, s/he [They] gradually discovers the rules that operate in the universe constructed by this game. S/he [They] learns its hidden logic, in short its algorithm. Therefore, in games where the play departs from following an algorithm, the player is still engaged with an algorithm, albeit in another way: s/he [They] is discovering the algorithm of the game itself. (Manovich 1999, 83) Thus, the coding of neoclassical geopolitics and realist IR into games risks both the seeming confirmation of ‘real world’ geopolitical and IR theories through their transposition to utopian game spaces, and also the reimportation of those theories back into ‘our’ world. Luckily, the gaming experience is not limited to what is coded. Considering the body as a component of the gaming assemblage opens up possibilities whereby the singularity of the game-as-type fragments into a multiplicity of games-as-played (Massumi 2002). After all, a game without players is a dead thing, unworthy of attention. Only when it is infused with players’ vitality does the assemblage come alive, with people and objects (e.g., chess boards and pieces, videogames and consoles) co-constituting the emergent effect of ‘the game’. This provides hope that this excess play provides room for critical engagement with neoclassical geopolitics and realist IR theory. Methodology This research contributes to new methodologies through which everyday geopolitics can be analyzed, elsewhere referred to as ‘popular geopolitics 2.0’ (Dittmer and Gray 2010). This complicates top-down accounts of geopolitics that diminish both political possibilities and the agency of everyday people and things. This research holds that games are assemblages with agency, intervening in the world through their very existence. That agency is emergent and coconstituted through the interactions of rules, material objects (such as game pieces or computer code), and players. Understanding the intertwining of these agencies requires methods that approach the complexity of assemblage organization. Recent work in political geography incorporates more ethnographic methods, especially participant observation and interviews (Megoran 2006; Pain and Smith 2008; Kuus 2011). Applying these methods in the university setting (Mu¨ller 2011) is useful for understanding how theories are enacted (and thus reworked) in an organized effort to produce geopolitical subjects.