"Board Game Brings the Difficulties of Climate Negotiations Home"

"The colorful, six-sided tiles with pictures of trees, rocks, and landscapes formed larger hexagons, creating islands across six tables in the second-floor gallery of the Goethe-Institut in Washington, D.C. On a recent Friday evening, more than 60 people gathered to play a game that has sold 15 million copies worldwide since 1995. The tiles were part of 'The Settlers of Catan,' a game where players trade and compete for resources while constructing cities."

Conversations in the bright room ranged from light banter to tense negotiation as players -- between four and six per board -- vied for land, resources and access to ports.

'The skill of it is choosing which resources to go after,' said Matthew Greider, one of the players, who likened the game to Monopoly, but with a board that changes every game. He said there are both elements of strategy -- such as where to place your cities or how you trade minerals -- and luck, as manifested by rolling dice to find out how much of a given resource you receive during your turn."

Umair Irfan reports for ClimateWire September 6, 2011.

Thursday, September 8, 2011