C’est La View: The Game of Social Life: A Role Playing Game for Teaching about Privilege, Oppression, and Intersectionality

bramesfeld

Contributor: Kosha Bramesfeld, PhD (kbramesfeld@gmail.com)

Ingredients (any equipment or supplies needed for the activity)

Instructions and materials for playing C’est La Vie: The Game of Social Life are published with the Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology and can be freely accessed as follows:

  • Go to the URL: http://teachpsych.org/page-1603066
  • Scroll down to the category “Social” [categories are listed alphabetically]
  • Identify the resource: “C’est La Vie: The Game of Social Life

I can also be contacted by email (kbramesfeld@gmail.com) for access to these materials.

Method:

C’est La View: The Game of Social Life is an empathy-based privilege and oppression awareness strategy game that can be used to help students engage in difficult dialogues surrounding the issues of privilege, oppression, and intersectionality.  The game is administered via PowerPoint presentation and individual character profile and game sheets. As such, the activity is appropriate for small or large group settings. (I recommend 1 facilitator for every 50 – 75 students). Facilitators should devote at least one to three hours for game play and discussion. The materials include (a) 64 character profiles and game sheets that describe the demographic characteristics and resources assigned to each player’s character, (b) a strategy game that presents students with a variety of different decision scenarios that interact with their character’s resources (described in a 33-slide presentation), and (c) an instructor’s guide that covers the development of the game, its recommended uses, and a debriefing and discussion points that help students reflect on the outcomes of the game, its connections with real life inequality, and the role that privilege and oppression might play in the students’ own lives.

Special Notes

The game materials are published with the Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology. The results of a research evaluation are published with Teaching of Psychology.

Acknowledgements
The research evaluation associated with this project was supported, in part, by a 2014 and a 2015 grant from the Teaching about Diversity Fund through the Learning and Teaching Office at Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Arla Good, Ryerson University, co-authored the research publication. Lisa Platt, West Virginia University, provided subject matter expertise and feedback on published materials. Special thanks go to the research assistants at Ryerson University who helped develop and evaluate the game: (listed alphabetically): Omar Abou El Hassan, Mishka Blacker, Samantha Burns, Amanda Donato, Andres Hernandez, Cierra James-Hahn, Usra Leedham, Adrienne Mehak, Mahdiyeh Meratian, Anthony Miller, Amanda Reilly, and Simona Sklenarova.

References

Bramesfeld, K. D. (2015). C’est La Vie: The Game of Social Life – A role-playing game for teaching about privilege, oppression, and intersectionality [OTRP Peer Reviewed Teaching Resource – Social, http://teachpsych.org/page-1603066].

Bramesfeld, K. D. & Good, A. (2016). C’est La Vie! The Game of Social Life: Using an intersectionality approach to teach about privilege and structural inequality. Teaching of Psychology, 43, 294-304.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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