One presentation in particular caught our attention during our visit to the Numérique 2022 conference at HEC Montréal, last May. Two philosophy teachers from Collège André-Grasset shared how they use the game “Reacting to the past” to put into practice the philosophical ideas discussed in class.


Illustration vectorielle de collègues en plein jeu de rôle

The concept :

“Reacting to the past” is a competitive role-playing game based on historical events. The objective is to recreate a key moment in history, for example the French Revolution, by playing the relevant historical parties. Each participant receives a card with the role they will play. The card details, among other things, their political positions, their values and the objectives that the participant must try to achieve (for example, passing a law). As the game progresses, each player must react to the announcement of real historical events (riots, attacks, accidents, etc.) according to what is on their card. Archive articles can also be used, or press briefings staged, to introduce a historically realistic media presence. To achieve their objectives, participants must give speeches and make alliances. Will they make the same decisions as their historical predecessors or can they change history?

A role play-based pedagogy

This pedagogical formula, increasingly used in the workplace, puts participants in a fictitious yet realistic situation where they must apply their knowledge and in which their decisions have consequences (fortunately, not real ones!). This approach, seen in online training, makes it possible to apply theoretical ideas in a safe environment. Using events that have taken place within your company (managing a project involving a large number of people, for example) or an external event that had a significant impact on your operations (such as the ice storm), provides you with tangible elements to react to and upon which to base your decisions. This can help you to better understand the strengths of your teams and which situations may require more preparation.

What kind of situation would you like to prepare your teams for?

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