Livestreamed Minnesota club game of Diplomacy in 2019

How Diplomacy Prepared Me for Real Life

On the Art of Communication; or How to Decipher Lies and Discern the Truth While Running for Minnesota Secretary of State

Erik Marty van Mechelen
2 min readJul 13, 2022


I was introduced to the game of Diplomacy at age 16 by history teacher, then formed face-to-face club. Also played by email. Then face-to-face in Minnesota years later. Took 5th in Weasel Moot 2019. Won the MN league (but not league championship) in 2019. Posted a club game on Twitch for educational purposes: and setup one of the first streamyard livestreamed backstabbr games in 2020.

That seems like a lifetime ago.

I’m now running for secretary of state in Minnesota — Diplomacy has helped me decipher and discern whether someone for instance is trying to help or harm or whether someone is interested in personal gain or in doing the right thing (especially when there is a high cost).

The face-to-face and email and and backstabbr formats were each contexts to analyze communication and practice asking questions, proposing plans, diagnosing problems, and acting toward solutions.

The video below is a link to work I’ve been involved with for about 12 months, resulting in the following, which is potentially a small win for the “county commissioner strategy” in our state.

Diplomacy in real life.
  • Minnesota State Election Director David Maeda lured to Sherburne County Board meeting.
  • Maeda proceeds to conflate Dominion 4.14 with 5.0 (county has upgraded 4.14-E to 5.5-C).
  • In doing so he possibly indicates his support for the county to move forward with a statutory violation.

📹 link below ⬇️

👆👆👆 This links to a post in my telegram channel.