The oil shortage has caused episodes of disorder and violence throughout the United States, and local, state, and federal government are reacting in controversial ways. At the local level, some police and fire departments have been unable to respond to all calls, resulting in the creation of unofficial Red (dangerous) and Green (safe) Zones in most cities. Outside the cities, the federal government has established refugee camps for those forced to leave their homes because of violence or lack of food. It has been reported that some of these camps have been converted to agriculture work camps to help offset the food shortages. Few official reports address the true nature of these camps.

Part 1: Set the Stage

Part 2: Take Action
  1. Review the following posts and create a list of what the government should be doing during crisis for the citizens of the United States.

Part 3: Lesson Activity
  1. Read the following articles about Hurricane Katrina (2005) and the San Diego wild fires (2007). Then make a general comparison of the government reactions. How did the local, state, and federal governments fail in New Orleans and succeed in San Diego? What factors contributed to these outcomes? Could socioeconomics be involved?
Part 4: Reflect
You should now consider the large-scale problems that could erupt in the community and environment around you. Preexisting tensions, severe economic disparities, and available local resources could all factor into the situation that people are facing in your community. Use the following questions to help guide your reflections:

Part 5: Take It Further

As the situation gets tense, we have to find ways to cope – and not only physically, but emotionally as well. One way to lessen fear, especially of the unknown, is to play with it, because play creates a non-threatening space where we can think about problems and even try out solutions.

To take it further today, come up with some games to play that help the players think about and adapt to the oil crisis. The games can be for children if you want, because they are looking for ways to fight fear as much as anyone.

For inspiration, read Avantgame's defense of play even during crisis:

And look at Defend the Farm or Steal the Crops:

Don't forget to document your game ideas in your blog!

Additional Resources


Independent Lens Electric Shadows Independent Television Service Corporation for Public Broadcasting Ken Eklund, Writerguy