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The school is military, with a taste of a boys’ school dorm environment as well. The games are “war games” in that teams are pitted against each other in a mock battlefield, without gravity and virtually devoid of objects. The warriors in training as not permanently harmed, but temporarily paralyzed. The “point” of the exercises is to detect and nurture leadership skills: inventiveness, natural order, unquestioned obedience by subordinates, bravery, decisive decision-making, and the like. The “teachers” are almost invisible, although Captain McGraff is the putative head of the school – they monitor the battles, but do very little interference other than inventing the variations in the battle situations. Cord is more concerned with the development of Ender’s awakening and growth (this is a Bildungsroman) than with the details of his environment, although occasionally Card will embellish a battle with details of its aftermath in the “dorm rooms” of the students.
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