This weekend I prepare to go on my annual trip down to Boston for the Harvard National Model United Nations event as a member of my college’s Model United Nations club.
It took months for our Model UN group to file the paper work, to get assigned a nation (this year we were lucky enough to snag the islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis), to do the research about our nation, learn about our nation’s culture, our stances on the predetermined issues that we will be talking about in Boston, and what nations we should ally ourselves based on our history’s political activities. All this work, leading up to this one weekend event.
During this week, as I was gathering my things I needed to make a good impression to the other college students that have flown from all over the world for this event, it dawned on me that the way student delegates prepares and acts at Harvard’s Model U.N is just like how gamers prepare themselves to play a great game of World of Warcraft. I know it might sound crazy, but I truly believe there is a connection that could be drawn.
Both type of people have to find out who they are suppose to role play as, whether it be a Spaniard, a Chinese, a Dwarf or a Blood elf, then they learn about their ethnic background and history. Then the delegates and players must learn how to act with other people and choosing who to ally with.
Whether we are in a World Trade Organization session or in a Warsong Gulch Battleground, we are supposed to know what the people we are playing as would think about certain ideology and which certain groups we are supposed to befriend.
Once we find out who we are and who supports us, we start to prepare ourselves.The students and the World of Warcraft players search through their wardrobe to find their best suits to wear and their best outfits to make themselves appear better than normal, in order to fight for their cause.
This weekend I will be equipping my Navy Blue Wool Blazer, (which increased my New England Intellect racial), while adding my NH Boys State pin (+10 Politics Knowledge) as well as my President Award for Educational Excellence pin (+15 to Education).
Once we are all prepared, and ready, the battle begins. Each student delegate enters the room of their assigned committee, in which they will be fighting for themselves and for their nation over the course of a tiring three day weekend. The students will have to think fast about what their political stances are, who to support and who are the enemies to their cause. The difference between a battle in a committee, and a battle on the fields of Azeroth, is that this weekend I fight with the arcane text of parliamentary procedure, not with magic spells or axes.
As the weekend goes on and people fight one another, there will be talks of alliances , tales of deceit and woe created over the course of the cutthroat talks. You can bet that at the end of a day, when the delegate’s stomachs are empty and they have spent a whole day in a room with the same people, that sparks flies and the talks will get heated.
But most importantly, at the end of this parliamentary battle or at the end of a match in Arathi Basin, everybody will hang up their suits of armor and our differences to go socialize with each other, not as the nations we represent, or the characters we choose to be, but as people who find the fun in these experiences. We will begin talking about our personal experiences with this organization, while trading and making new stories about our past experiences.
No matter how heated it gets in the debates we come to the realization that it was all good fun when we say goodbye to each other at the end of the weekend.
Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mist of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays