Combat bias against board games.

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Combat bias against board games.

Come on, think about physicists.

If you’re like me, you probably don’t have to think very hard before the names of Einstein and Isaac Newton.

But what if I asked you to think about a female physicist? What about a black female physicist?

You might have to think a little bit. For many years, the mainstream narrative has largely ignored or forgotten the scientific contributions of women and people of color.

This is the card game designed by the Tiltfactor Lab at the university of buffalo — where it came in. The rules are simple. You start with two decks. A set of CARDS containing Chinese, tall or mysterious adjectives; The other includes a noun such as an elf or dancer.

Draw a card from each deck and place them face up. Then all the players will shout out a realistic or fictional character that fits the description.

So you draw “smart” and “TV show characters”.

You can shout “David hasselhoff of the cavaliers!”

“Women” and “Olympics?”

A new card game asked, who is black?

Code switching

A new card game asked, who is black?

Gaby Douglas!

A female physicist?

Well. If everyone is trapped, or “buffalo,” you draw another noun and an adjective, and then try again. When the deck is used up, the player who wins the most matches wins.

This is the kind of game you take out at a dinner party. But the creators of the game say that this is good for other things – reducing prejudice. By forcing players to think about people who reduce stereotypes, buffalo has challenged these stereotypes deeply.

“So, it began to remind us that we really don’t know a lot of things consciousness level of work, we may want to know about the world around us,” Mary Flanagan, who leads the interpretation of the Dartmouth college teal method, LABS, this makes the game design for social change, and studies its influence.

Buffalo may push us to better understand the work of female physicists, “but it also unconsciously begins to open the way we think of stereotypes,” Flanagan said.

In many of her tests, Flanagan rounded up about 200 college students and distributed half of them to buffalo. After a game, buffalo team players a little higher than the possibility of the same players, they strongly agree with “we all have the potential for good and evil”, “I can see myself for many groups”.

Students playing buffalo also scored better on the standard psychological tests of tolerance. “After 20 minutes of playing, you’ve made some measurable changes with a player – I think that’s amazing,” Flanagan said.

Buffalo is not Flanagan’s only prejudice against the game. Tiltfactor calls the other two “awkward moments” and “awkward moments at work.” They aim to reduce gender discrimination in schools and workplaces, respectively.

“I’m really tired of saying ‘games will save the world,'” Flanagan said. But she added, “it’s a serious problem to see how a small game can solve the huge, life-changing social problems that affect so many people.”

The water buffalo.

NPR’s Maanvi Singh

However, there is a good reason to support games or any other type of entertainment that can change our minds.

Betsy Levy Paluck, a professor of psychology at Princeton university, explains: “people are not happy with diversity training or listening to lectures, and people don’t usually want to be told what to think. Change your attitude and behavior. “But people like entertainment, so it’s just a practical basis, and that’s one reason to use it.”

Using literature, music and TV programs to encourage social change has a long history. In a 2009 study, Paluck found that radio soaps helped bridge the gap between the rwandan genocide. “We know that various forms of pop culture and entertainment help reduce prejudice,” says Paluck. “In other types of entertainment, there are fewer studies, and we’re still looking at whether and how we can help with games.”

Anthony Greenwald, a psychologist at the University of Washington who is a professional who studies deeply rooted prejudices, is skeptical. , he said, as he did several kind of researchers have proved that some intervention measures, including thinking, practice writing task and games, can reduce the bias in a short time. However, “the effects of these expectations usually disappear quickly, and very few studies have been observed even after a day.”

After all, how can 20 minutes of work move society into the attitude of our skulls?

Ms. Flanagan said her lab is still working on the issue and hopes to do more research on long-term effects in the future. “We know people play games a lot,” Flanagan said. “if it’s a good game, people go back to the game and they play games over and over again. Her philosophy: maybe everyday games can help us to keep at least some prejudices.

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