I shoulda kept my mouth shut. I work at a college and there is a "Center for Ethics" which programs around a theme every year. The theme next year has to do with the poltics of space - not as in outer or celestial - but as in area/land.
Naturally, the gamer in me immediately thought about area movement and area capture games. I thought it could be a fun kick-off to play a couple of games around these mechanics. I shoulda kept my mouth shut.
I pitched Diplomacy as a greta way to consider politics and space together. Not good enough. Now the request includes:
"As we're planning the program for the year, we thought that this idea would fit particularly well under the first part of the theme where we plan do address boundaries in space. We were thinking that it might work well to tie the game into another event/activity/lecture planned for the fall, and in that vein thought that we could perhaps do something adapted (like Diplomacy) for the Middle East or refugee populations. Do you think that might be possible? Would you be willing to create something or find something for the fall along those lines?"
I think they are overreaching on the theme, but thought I'd shoot it out there for some suggestions. I'd like something that may be scalable to "teams" making decisions rather than individuals, or a game that I could obtain multiple copies of and use with a large group.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Check out the Diplomacy internet forums.
There are so many variations on the original Diplomacy, I wouldn't be surprised if there was a Middle East variant.