Red Cross Camp Planner: Exploring Humanitarianism Through A Multimodal Camp Planning Simulation Game

March 29, 2010
By George_Bixby

Exploring Humanitarian Law (EHL) is “an adaptable toolkit”  designed to meet the national standards for middle and high school curriculum. Its purpose is to “expose students to issues of international humanitarian law, the rules that ensure respect for life and human dignity in war.” The toolkit includes a vast array of materials- from source materials including photographs, videos and letters, to descriptions of interactive projects which aim to create a deeper sense of engagement with the material.

An example of such an activity is the one presented in Module 5 of the toolkit, in which students are asked to imagine themselves setting up a camp for displaced people. Through this experience students begin to gain an understanding of the importance of doing such work, as well as the complexity of planning and maintaining a camp which meets the physical and emotional needs of people displaced by conflict or natural disasters.

Red Cross Camp Planner is a mixed-reality simulation game, based on an activity described in Module 5B of the EHL curriculum. It is designed to take place over the course of two weeks, and will utilize a combination of virtual and real world activities. During this time students will experience both the role of the camp planner and that of a displaced person. They will be asked to use research, analytic and strategic skills in planning and maintaining a camp, and critical thinking and creative skills as they are asked to become filmmakers who will “document” the disaster situation. Additionally, a component of the project is a web-interface that will facilitate the editing of a film, and which will allow for students to upload their work to a website and be shared with a network of schools.

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