Guatemalan Game

By: Calvin Graves (Part of the USA)

For about a week during my cultural geography class, we participated in an interactive activity in which the transfer of power was presented through the actions of 6 different groups "within the country of Guatemala." These 6 groups would be the United States, the Army and Wealthy, the Guerrillas, the Peasants, and the government of Guatemala. The Goals of the game varied form group to group, however the game played out as followed.

The Army and Wealthy started with the most power based on Military Strength Units, however the USA was the most powerful nation in the world. The Guerrillas, took power later in the game by forming treaties and gaining MSU's. They then overtook the country of Guatemala under the influence of the USA. After this, the Guerrillas made everyone equal under a president and vice president, However the United Stated saw flaws in this system, so they used their military to over power the Guerrillas and take over. At the end of the game, the USA formed an oligarchy as a government.

The power has shifted between the Guerrillas, Army and Wealthy, and the USA throughout the game, because of the different treaties and alliances that were made between all 6 groups. Though the power did shift, it didn't always shift easily. War between the Army and Wealthy and the Guerrillas was avoided, but anger was created through certain actions. This occurred when the Guerrillas signed a treaty with the United States, which gave them MSU's, in return for the development of  a stable government. In doing this the Guerrillas took power and broke a treaty with the Army and Wealthy. When the US felt like the newly formed government wasn't going to work, we overthrew the Guerrillas, and set up another new government. As this transfer in power occurred it affected the country of Guatemala in both a Positive and a negative way. It caused the Army and Wealthy, to feel angry and helpless against the Guerrillas and the Guerrillas to feel anger towards the United States for ripping their power away from them and destroying what they had created.

With the United States being the most powerful group in the game, we had a big role in the development of the outcome during the simulation. We influenced and controlled the actions of the different groups by giving something to these groups in return. This varied from MSU's to political agreements to promises of equal treatment or opportunity. However our actions were for the better good of the relations with the United Stated but not necessarily the better good of the people of Guatemala.

This simulation of the transfer of power is a lot like the some relationships and situations in my life. Compared to the different groups in the Guatemalan game, my older brother would be the Army and Wealthy since he is old enough to drive my parents always have him taking the rest of us to different places when my parents can't, and he has a large part to play in controlling my life. My parents would be the USA because no matter what we always have to do what they tell us, though we are allowed certain freedoms. I would be the Guerrillas because I am constantly battling with my brother for the right to have a say in how things go or what should be done. My youngest sister would be the Guatemalan Government because she is the youngest she doesn't have to much power and will side with one person over another just because they ask her and not because she agrees with them. My other sister would be the Peasants because she gets a big decision in choosing between different things, but doesn't get to choose what the options are.

Through the Guatemalan Game, I have been able to see how power can shift,  develop or destroy a country, and cause the different groups involved in a situation to do various things to try and gain power to get what they want and believe is right.

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