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CONCLAVE 1492

Conclave 1492: The Election of a Renaissance Pope Microgame

by William Keene Thompson

Faith, Politics, and Power

Students are members of the sacred college of cardinals, princes of the Roman Catholic Church convened in secret to elect the next pope. They must use knowledge of the renaissance church and late-medieval Europe to advance their character's political and religious concerns in pursuit of personal power and (perhaps) the best interests of Christendom.

ABOUT THE GAME

Details

Disciplines

Medieval History; Religion; Western Civ/History


Era 
15th Century; Early Modern Period


In a Few Words
Papacy, Renaissance, Conclave


Geography 
Europe


Level
Microgame (what's that mean?

Themes and Issues  

Religion, Politics, Diplomacy, Papacy, Renaissance, Conclave, Reformation, Italy, Early Modern Europe


Player Interactions 
Factional, Competitive, Coalition-Building


Sample Class Titles
Western Civ; World History; Renaissance Italy; Interpersonal Communication; Church History

Mechanics 
Money, Secret voting, Randomizer/lottery/chance element, Physical prop (papal mitre)


Chaos and Demand on Instructor 
This game is mildly chaotic and mildly demanding on the instructor.


Notable Roles

Rodrigo Borgia, Giuliano della Rovera, Giovanni de' Medici

Using the Game

Class Time  
This microgame is designed to be played in 1 or 2 sessions.


Possible Reacting Game Pairings
This game can be used on its own, or with other games. These pairings are meant to be illustrative rather than exhaustive or prescriptive. Conclave 1492 may pair well with:


Assignments
You can adjust the assignments based on the desired learning outcomes of your class. This game can include traditional paper/research/thesis-driven writing and creative writing. Not all roles are required to give formal speeches.


Class Size

This microgame is recommended for classes with 18 to 30 students.


GAME MATERIALS

Additional Resources 

Resources for Introduction and/or Debrief

  • Eamon Duffy, Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes, 4th ed. (New Haven: Yale), pp. 177-96, 451-56.
  • Borgia, “A Sacred Vow” and “Wisdom of the Holy Spirit,” episodes 3-4. Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel. Written by Tom Fontana, Frank Pugliese, and Brant Englestein. Sky/Canal+/Netflix (2011).
    • This is more for instructor info, as it would spoil the proceedings for students to watch it beforehand.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

William Keene Thompson

William Keene Thompson is Assistant Professor of History at Northwest University in Kirkland, WA.

QUESTIONS

Members can contact game authors directly

We invite instructors join our Facebook Faculty Lounge, where you'll find a wonderful community eager to help and answer questions. We also encourage you to submit your question for the forthcoming FAQ, and to check out our upcoming events


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reacting@barnard.edu

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