The summer school “Serious Games and World Politics” jointly organized by The Ohio State University (OSU) and the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Belgrade (FPN UB), was successfully held in Mokra Gora from June 21st to June 26th, 2023. The summer school was organized as part of the long-standing partnership of “Serbian Educational Alliance” between these two universities, funded by the U.S. State Department, primarily composed of the continuous and diverse collaboration between the Center for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (OSU) and the Faculty of Political Science (FPN). The College of Arts and Sciences and the Mershon Center for International Security Studies (OSU) also supported the organization of the summer school.
The seminar was organized with the aim of gathering lecturers and researchers who are willing to incorporate “serious games” into their work related to the study of world politics. While serious games are already widely used in the study of world politics, most games focus on realistic concepts and theories in International Relations, while other schools and approaches are still underrepresented. This summer school stems directly from the organisers’ intention to promote the incorporation of serious games in the exploration of constructivism. With the help of Prof. Dr Filip Ejdus (FPN UB) and Prof. Dr Jennifer Mitzen (OSU), Dr Amanda Rosen and Dr Nina Kollars from the U.S. Naval War College created a completely new diplomatic game that enables the exploration of key constructivist concepts and theories, such as the role of identity, norms, trust, collective memory, and ontological security in international relations.
During the first two days, participants had the opportunity to play the first version of the game and discuss its potential pedagogical applications in teaching, as well as possibilities for its further development. In the second part of the seminar, doctoral students had the opportunity to present their doctoral research projects and receive valuable feedback from professors and colleagues that will greatly assist them in the further stages of research and dissertation writing.
The summer school was attended by seven doctoral students from The Ohio State University and eight doctoral students from the Faculty of Political Science, University of Belgrade. Ten lecturers from the University of Belgrade, The Ohio State University, and the University of Glasgow facilitated the game and doctoral seminar sessions.
During short excursions, participants and lecturers also had the opportunity to explore nearby historical and cultural landmarks, as well as the stunning nature of the region.
Considering the knowledge, ideas, connections, and partnerships developed during several days of intensive work, the first summer school on serious games in world politics in Mokra Gora concluded with serious success.