Ein Ausschnitt des Spielbretts von Bürokratopoly. Daneben ein Ausschnitt des Begleithefts.


Serious Game Bürokratopoly - Lehrspiel aus der DDR - Übersicht Spielmaterial

From the political underground of the GDR to today's school lessons

In 1983 Martin Böttger invented the board game Bürokratopoly. A game that exposed and criticized the power structures of the SED regime with lots of irony. Even though it was not distributed publicly, the game quickly spread in the political underground of the GDR. Unlike Monopoly, for example, Bürokratopoly is not about money, but about the unscrupulous acquisition of power. If necessary also by cheating. More than 30 years after its creation, Playing History has reworked the educational game from the GDR together with educators and historians. In the meantime, Bürokratopoly can be purchased free of charge for use in schools. It gives students an authentic view of the GDR in a playful way. It also encourages discussion about democracy, politics and human rights.


Teaching a critical approach to history

Bürokratopoly is aimed at students in grades 9 to 13. The most important teaching objectives are

  • Students recognize differences between democracy and dictatorship.
  • They learn about the structures of rule in the GDR.
  • After the game, it is clearer how GDR citizens lived.
  • Students understand the structure and functioning of the Ministry of State Security.
  • Students can identify the discrepancy between the GDR constitution and GDR reality.
  • They also learn to contextualize and classify sources correctly.
  • The game promotes and strengthens interest in democratic structures and procedures.
  • Furthermore, it becomes clear that democracy cannot be taken for granted. And that democratic concepts are worth defending.

The comprehensive teaching material supports teachers in using the educational game from the GDR. It includes, for example, worksheets with assignments based on the content of the board game. The time required can vary greatly, depending on how intensively you let your students play Bürokratopoly.


Press comments on the educational game from the GDR

Press comments on the educational game from the GDR The Stasi files are not funny in themselves, but this following can sometimes help: that the world is just one big board game. (Süddeutsche)

One of the most interesting games of Spiel14. (WDR5)


Try it out now!

The educational game can be ordered free of charge for use in schools.

Information about the game, tips for teachers and videos with contemporary witness Martin Böttger can be found at www.buerokratopoly.de.

The publisher of Bürokratopoly is the DDR Museum. Playing History was responsible for the project management. Capito was responsible for the pedagogical processing. The new edition of the game was supported by the Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship, the State Commissioner for the Stasi Files Berlin, the State Commissioner for the Stasi Files Saxony & Spiel des Jahres e.V.


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