The players in the Nightmare in Detroit game take on roles as key members of the Detroit Police Department, Fire Department and The Mayor's Office. There are also key roles in the State Governor's Office, State Police and the Michigan National Guard

Each player has a personal briefing that sets objectives and provides key background information relevant to their role, and the players take decisions, interact with other players, and deploy resources under their control.  The experienced Past Perspectives Game Control team then adjudicate results and provide realistic feedback on the player decisions.

Here is an example of how Nightmare in Detroit might be organised for a 40 participant event - with some description of the various roles. There are six main teams of participants usually divided up randomly to discourage cliques and organisational hierarchical issues (though they inevitably arise). Alternatively, the teams could be organised around departments or workgroup teams if the client prefers.

Nightmare in Detroit has a strong focus on the political and the role of the media. Depending on the venue it usually includes mock press conferences and media presentations.

Team Role / Activity in the game Team benefits
1. City Emergency Services
(8 people)

Police Department is a critical role, in that they not only gather information on the situation on the ground, but have to take continual time pressured decisions on deploying their very scarce police resources.

The Fire Department has a similar role, in many ways, to the Police in that then have to make best use of insufficient resources.

 

Experience at time-pressures low resource decision-making.

Liaison and teamwork within the team - particularly between fire and police sub-teams.

Political maneuvering (the Police Chief and Fire Chief are elected officials)

Managing the media - the press are constantly demanding information and updates.

2. City Mayor and Staff
(6 people)
The Mayor and his team have the ultimate responsibility for the situation in the City. This team not only has to provide strategic policy guidance for the emergency services team, but it has to take a lead in managing public opinion and the media, and report to the State Governor and ultimately to the President on the developing crisis.

Communication and negotiation with all the other teams.

Decision making taking into account variable and sometimes conflicting factors.

Managing the media.

Managing political opposition.

3. State Governor and Staff
(6 people)
The State Governor is responsible for coming to the aid of the Mayor and the city should he be unable to cope. The Governor's team manages the out-of-city emergency resources, such as the State Police and the National Guard. The Governor also reports to the President and as an elected official to public opinion.

Communication and negotiation with all the other teams.

Decision making taking into account variable and sometimes conflicting factors.

Managing the media.

Liaising with the State Department (= game control)

4. State Police
(6 People)

The State Police are in the special position of being brought in to reinforce the City Police. However, they have their own chain of command, and may not be familiar with the city or its problems. This role requires an ability to learn fast and work with other teams.

Not only does the team manage the deployment of resources, but it also manages information flow to the State Governor, and might also deal with the media, depending on circumstances.

Experience at time-pressures low resource decision-making.

Liaison and teamwork within the team - particularly between city fire and city police sub-teams.

5. National Guard
(6 people)

The National Guard are the final resource the State can call on in the event of insurrection, invasion or revolution. Whilst not always equipped with the latest technology, they are enthusiastic, if amateur, soldiers.

This team is involved in contingency planning, developing their organisation, and if called upon, will have to deploy to the City to help.

This team has one of the hardest jobs - deploying a force to do a job it is neither trained nor equipped to do.

Planning skills are practiced.

Information gathering and forming intelligence summaries.

Decision making in low-information setting.

6. Press and Media
(8 people)

The US news media are, in 1967, some of the most sophisticated in the world. The demand for information in constant and growing. There is no reticence in criticising the government - and the media team are important in reflecting the mood of the public at large.

This team will be creating news bulletins, articles and reports 'on the fly' as the crisis develops. They will be probing the other teams to find out what is really happening and what is being done.

Written and oral presentation is practiced.

Interviewing and questioning skills developed.

Personal interaction skills developed.

   

 

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