$15.00
$5.00
$20.00
Jeff Weber
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/29/health/georgia-slavery-game-tr...

sigh
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Crazy Adam
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Congratulations. You have just discovered the secret message.
badge
Please send your answer to Old Pink, care of the Funny Farm, Chalfont.
mbmbmbmbmb
Jeff Weber wrote:


I'm sure this teacher's intentions were good, and I'm sure we could have a healthy argument about whether there's solid education grounding in her game. Honestly, I don't have enough information about how her game was to be played (we know there were dice).

For me, the issue here is not the subject (teaching about American slavery can be done in a diverse way), nor the game (games have the power to teach us something important, i.e. Freedom: The Underground Railroad) but I get the impression this was a game students either felt required or seriously compelled to play. No person should ever be required to role-play a victim without their consent. Were students thoroughly informed of what the game was trying to achieve? Did they feel any pressure to play? Did they feel like they could stop playing even if they consented at first? None of these questions are answered, but I know (being a school teacher myself) that these would be tough calls for 10-year-olds to make in the moment. I also suspect that a game that apparently boils everything down to, "Oops! You rolled a '7', go back to the plantation!" wasn't imbued with the sensitivity a "simulation" like this really requires.

It's a shame she didn't try to get a game of Freedom going, at lunch or after school, with students who understood what the game was trying to achieve and that they volunteered to play. Hell, there's a curriculum guide provided by Academy Games just so teachers can find a meaningful and sensitive way for bringing games about slavery into the educational realm. Games (we all know!) are powerful tools of learning and discovery, but goodness, it's gotta be done right!
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brad Neuhauser
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
A year ago, there was a similar controversy about a computer game/simulation about slavery.

In a similar vein, the Anti-Defamation League discourages Holocaust simulations for these reasons which would also be applicable to the history of slavery:

* They are pedagogically unsound because they trivialize the experience of victims and can leave students with the impression at the conclusion of the activity that they actually know what it was like during the Holocaust
* They stereotype group behavior and distort historical reality by reducing groups of people and their experiences and actions to one-dimensional representations
* They can reinforce negative views of the victims
* They impede critical analysis by oversimplifying complex historical events and human behavior, leaving students with a skewed view of history
* They disconnect the Holocaust from the context of European and global history


2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Patrick Rael
United States
Brunswick
Maine
flag msg tools
designer
We see our role as essentially defensive in nature.
mbmbmbmbmb
I just encountered this fascinating thread. I ask this not in disrespect, but as an honest question: does anyone disagree with the ADL's approach to this?

I understand the concern, but I wonder if it's not vulnerable to challenge. All of the bullet points listed could also refer to a Hollywood feature film, no? In fact, when such a film was made, the ADL issued the following statement:

Quote:
New York, NY, August 18, 2009 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today issued the following statement on "Inglourious Basterds," the new film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and set in Nazi-occupied France during World War II.

"Inglourious Basterds" is an allegory about good and evil and the no-holds barred efforts to defeat the evil personified by Hitler, his henchmen and his Nazi regime. If only it were true!

Employing drama, comedy and romance with the quintessential Quentin Tarantino touch, the film is entertaining and thought-provoking . Christoph Waltz's portrayal of Col. Hans Landa, "the Jew Hunter," is chilling; Brad Pitt's Lt. Aldo Raine signifies the determination and brashness of Americans to get a job done.


I'm just using the ADL responses as an example, since they came up here; I suspect that they're fairly representative of thoughtful opinion.

One wonders if the difference here lies not in the content of the representation, but the *form*. That is, we have come to accept history as portrayed by Hollywood, and we haved developed expectations around what to expect and not expect. But the same cannot be said of tabletop games, which are stereotypically considered too trivial to take on real history. Does this ring true?

I'd be curious for the thoughts of others.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Tyree
United States
Dayton
Ohio (OH)
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I think that there is a distinction between mediums when discussing film vs. games (board, video or otherwise). Film, while certainly capable of strong emotional impact, seem to me to be more passive than games. Games make you an 'active' participant in the events, though the level of abstraction may vary greatly.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Tyree
United States
Dayton
Ohio (OH)
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
And as to the original game this teacher attempted to put out there, I would give them the benefit of doubt but just the glimpse we're given and the snippets we can piece together make me think it falls short of the sensitivity one would wish for. As stated above, Freedom has already shown a way to address this topic in an interactive a respectful way.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Patrick Rael
United States
Brunswick
Maine
flag msg tools
designer
We see our role as essentially defensive in nature.
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
I think that there is a distinction between mediums when discussing film vs. games (board, video or otherwise). Film, while certainly capable of strong emotional impact, seem to me to be more passive than games. Games make you an 'active' participant in the events, though the level of abstraction may vary greatly.


so you're suggesting that the *form* of games makes players more involved, and hence more, shall we say, morally responsible for the actions taken in them?

Quote:
And as to the original game this teacher attempted to put out there, I would give them the benefit of doubt but just the glimpse we're given and the snippets we can piece together make me think it falls short of the sensitivity one would wish for. As stated above, Freedom has already shown a way to address this topic in an interactive a respectful way.


i'm not very interested in judging the teacher in the example. i'm more interested in understanding what makes Freedom a "better" use of games as educational tools.

thanks for the reflections.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Tyree
United States
Dayton
Ohio (OH)
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
It's a bit like role playing or acting. Just because an actor or player may take on an 'immoral' role, that person doesn't become immoral. However, some people can become very immersed in a role and that can be distressing. If you're watching another person performing, you're typically a 3rd person observer to the events. If you're acting or playing a part in the simulation, it is easier to slip into feeling like you are doing the act or having it done to you. Then, the risk of trivializing the events simulated is increased because many tragic circumstances just can't be abstracted well.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.