Event Title

Session 3D: Simulating the Great Soviet Terror

Session Number

Session 3D: 2nd Presentation

Advisor(s)

Dr. Christian Nokkentved, IMSA

Location

IN2

Start Date

26-4-2018 12:40 PM

End Date

26-4-2018 1:25 PM

Abstract

Simulating the Soviet Great Terror explores the creation and use of an online multiplayer simulation game of the Soviet Great Terror and the Soviet political purges from 1934-1938 in order to test the traditionalist and revisionist interpretations of the Great Terror and explore the use of classroom simulations. To this end, a multiplayer simulation game was used to determine the effects of human agency on the purge’s severity and analyze which interpretation more closely predicted live player behavior. The simulation was programmed using C, allowing student players to act as Soviet citizens and make choices in order to fulfill goals relevant to each citizen’s position in society. The results of three live games were compared to those of randomized games, with a focus on the overall statistical spread of players sent to the GULAG labor camp system based on player societal role and presence of human agency. The overall result found that human agency did have a significant impact on purge severity, in line with the revisionist interpretation. In addition, the spread of players affected by the purge was influenced by player role in a way that did not correlate with historical data and requires further study.

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Apr 26th, 12:40 PM Apr 26th, 1:25 PM

Session 3D: Simulating the Great Soviet Terror

IN2

Simulating the Soviet Great Terror explores the creation and use of an online multiplayer simulation game of the Soviet Great Terror and the Soviet political purges from 1934-1938 in order to test the traditionalist and revisionist interpretations of the Great Terror and explore the use of classroom simulations. To this end, a multiplayer simulation game was used to determine the effects of human agency on the purge’s severity and analyze which interpretation more closely predicted live player behavior. The simulation was programmed using C, allowing student players to act as Soviet citizens and make choices in order to fulfill goals relevant to each citizen’s position in society. The results of three live games were compared to those of randomized games, with a focus on the overall statistical spread of players sent to the GULAG labor camp system based on player societal role and presence of human agency. The overall result found that human agency did have a significant impact on purge severity, in line with the revisionist interpretation. In addition, the spread of players affected by the purge was influenced by player role in a way that did not correlate with historical data and requires further study.