Battle against the board game.
Come on, think of the physicists.
If you’re like me, you probably don’t have to think very hard before the names of Einstein and Isaac Newton.
You might have to think a little bit more. For years, the mainstream narrative has largely ignored or forgotten the scientific contributions of women and people of color.
This is buffalo – a card game designed by Tiltfactor Lab at Dartmouth college – where they come in. The rules are simple. You start with two decks. A set of CARDS containing adjectives, such as Chinese, tall or mysterious; 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 female physicist?
Well. If everyone is trapped, or “buffalo,” you draw another noun and an adjective, and then try again. When the deck is finished, the player who wins the most matches wins.
When the conversation stalls, that’s the kind of game you get out of a dinner party. But the creators of the game say it’s good for other things – reducing prejudice. By forcing players to think about people who reduce stereotypes, buffalo subconsciously challenges those stereotypes.
“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 and study its influence for social change.
Buffalo may have pushed us to better understand the work of female physicists, “but it has also unconsciously begun to open the stereotype of the way we think it is,” Mr. Flanagan said.
In one of her many tests, Flanagan rounded up about 200 college students and allocated half of them to buffalo. After a game, buffalo than age players are more likely to be strongly agree that “we all have the potential for good and evil”, and “I can see myself for many groups”.
Students in buffalo also scored better on the standard psychological tests of tolerance. “After 20 minutes of gaming, you’ve got a measurable change with the player – I think it’s incredible,” Flanagan said.
Buffalo is not Flanagan’s only prejudice against the game. The 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 ‘the game will save the world,'” Mr. Flanagan said. But, she added, “it’s a serious problem to see how a small game can solve the huge, life-changing social problem that affects so many people.”
The water buffalo.
Scientists have tried various quick fixes to train racial discrimination, sexism and homophobia. In a small study, researchers at the university of Oxford even studied whether propranolol could alleviate racism, and propranolol is often used to lower blood pressure. Unsurprisingly, there is no cure for paranoia.
However, there are good reasons to support games or any other type of entertainment that can change our minds.
Betsy Levy Paluck, a professor of psychology at Princeton university, explained: “people don’t get excited about showing diversity training or listening to people. 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 for teaching.”
Using literature, music and TV programs to encourage social change has a long history. In a 2009 study, Paluck found that radio soap operas helped to heal the rift between the rwandan genocide. “We know that various forms of pop culture and entertainment help reduce prejudice,” says Paluck. “In other types of entertainment – the number of studies is small, we’re still studying whether and how we can help with games.”
Anthony greenwald, a psychologist at the university of Washington who has studied deep prejudice, is skeptical. , he says, like Flanagan, several kind of researchers have shown that a few interventions, including thinking practice, writing task and games – can reduce the bias in a short time. But, “the effects of these expectations usually disappear quickly, and few studies even observe the effect a day later.”
After all, how can anything in 20 minutes erase the impact of a social life on our skulls?
Ms. Flanagan said her lab is still working on the issue and hopes to do more research in the future to track long-term effects. “We do know that people often play games, and if it’s really a good game, people will return to it, and they will play it over and over again,” Flanagan said. Her idea: maybe everyday games can help us keep at least some of our prejudices.