Ost-West Service Projekte

Last played:

1st half: 2009

2nd half:

Goal: The goal of this game is to get villagers to think about the differences between East and West Germany.

Basic premise: The villagers are divided into two groups in a place where they can easily see what the other group is doing. They are told that they will be doing some service projects for Waldsee, and that they will do it in two teams -- whichever team gets the most points wins. The way the groups are organized differs --Betreuer in the East should be very strict, while Betreuer in the West are not. Points also work differently -- in the West, villagers are rewarded individually based on their level of participation, while in the East, villagers are all rewarded equally. At the end of the game, preferably after both sides have noticed that the other works differently, there is a debriefing.

The simulation:

Villagers are divided into two teams. They are not told why. This works best oben or unten im Gasthof (oben is good because of proximity to Schreibhausen/Lichtenstein), so they can see what the other team is doing. Preferably, there should be some kind of division between the two sides (e.g. masking tape). At the front, there is a judging table, where there is one judge for each side (more on that later).

The three service projects used in the first iteration of this simulation were: Lieder aufnehmen (auf Video), neue Lernspiele ausdenken, and Werbungen/Posters malen.

In the East:

The Betreuer in charge of the East should organize the villagers into groups by counting off (1,2,3), and should feel free to move people around at whim. However, Betreuer in the East should also drum up a good Gemeinschaftsgefühl andBegeisterung for the group. Villagers should be told to go to specific stations, and they should be told what to do when there (e.g. what songs to sing, what to make a Werbungabout). Villagers can be moved to different stations for whatever reason.

The East will have fewer supplies than the West (see "Materials").

Finally, one Betreuer should play Stasi. This person should walk around (preferably with a clipboard) noting which villagers are not participating, and can then interrogate them (in private, e.g. off to the side) about why they aren't participating. (Don't you want to see Waldsee be better? Why don't you have any Begeisterung?) Also, the Stasi should ask people to "rat out" other people who are not participating.

When villagers are finished with a task, they should go to their judge to get points (poker chips work). The Belohnung on this side should be fairly small, but evenly distributed amongst villagers.

In the West:

Let the villagers organize themselves. Betreuer in the West should help the villagers with what they ask for (e.g. can offer to man the videocamera, or can help with spelling for Werbungen), but should not direct at all. Be locker.

A Betreuer should be in charge of bringing extra supplies to the West, particularly if the simulation has gone on for a while without villagers noticing what is going on.

When villagers are finished with a task, they should go to their judge to get points. The Belohnung on this side should be larger, and should depend on the level of participation/contribution of each villager. It can also depend on quality of the finished product (e.g. singing or drawing).

End of the game: End the game when villagers notice discrepancies, or after approximately 45 minutes. In the East, redistribute all the chips. In the West, try to keep villagers from combining their chips. Then come together for debriefing.


    • Poker chips or some other means of distributing rewards

    • Lernspiele: In the East, one copy of the curriculum, a few pens, some paper; In the West, several copies of the curriculum/CLVisas, many pens, lots of paper, anything else you can think of

    • Werbungen: In the East, some sheets of paper, crayons; in the West, lots of paper, extra butcher paper, glue, markers, colored pencils, stickers, etc.

    • Liederaufnahme: Both sides need video cameras; in the East, a list of songs to sing; in the West, a guitar, a piano (if possible), copies of the Liederbuch, lots of Gegenstände


The debriefing is the most important part of any simulation.

Start by asking villagers how their sides were run, what the roles of the Betreuer were, how they made decisions, what types of rewards they got, etc.

Segue into a discussion of East and West Germany. First, go over important historical facts: the end of World War II, the founding of the DDR, 1961, 1989, etc.

Now is a good time to switch into English. There are several ways to structure this discussion. One way is to talk about the memory of the DDR,Ostalgie, and what West Germans thought of the DDR and the reunification. You might also be more theoretical and talk about the tenets of Communism, the difference between socialism and capitalism, etc. In either case, make sure to get in some discussion of the fact that people had real lives in the DDR and that many people are now nostalgic for full employment, the old educational system, and the old health system, but without forgetting to talk at least a bit about the Stasi and the fact that East Germans wanted reunification. Berndt is a good resource!