The Pasta Wars: A Prisoner's Dilemma Simulation-Game
Ebner, N. & Winkler, Y. , (2008) PASTA WARS: A prisoner’s dilemma simulation-game. Simulation & Gaming 40(1), 134-146
63 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2013 Last revised: 17 Apr 2021
Date Written: 2008
The PASTA WARS is a four-party negotiation/conflict simulation-game, in which participants must decide recurrently whether to adopt a cooperative stance or a competitive strategy towards one another. Participants are formed into four groups, each of which manages a flour mill that is attempting to sell its produce to a single purchaser, the local pasta restaurant, over a series of rounds. Each mill’s profitability is dependent not only on its own manufacturing strategy but also on that of the three other mills. In this way, they are subtly placed in an iterated four-way Prisoner's Dilemma, and they must maneuver, in an environment of limited communication, to develop relationships with each other and to build trust as a means of enabling personal and joint gain.
This document contains all materials needed to conduct the simulation-game, as well as notes for teachers on game-management and debrief.
Special instructions are included for conducting the simulation online via videoconferencing. These have been updated to keep current with platform updates and have last been revised in April 2021.
In addition, the document includes translations of the simulation's material into ten languages, for use with students and trainees around the world.
Keywords: simulation, simulation-game, communication, competition, conflict, cooperation, negotiation, Prisoner’s Dilemma, relationship building, trust, negotiation pedagogy, roleplay, role-play, online, video, videoconference, videoconferencing
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