Tiltfactor’s card game uses word association to challenge race and gender stereotyping, with research suggesting that it successfully impacts the player's thinking
We’ve seen plenty of educational games designed to teach skills — such as coding — but can games also be used to teach mindsets? Research suggests that a new card game by Tiltfactor could have found a way to reduce prejudice through gaming.
Called ‘Buffalo’, the game works through word association. Players turn over card pairs to reveal objective descriptions, such as ‘female – athlete’ or ‘African American – scientist’ and then must name a person with those attributes to win. Research by Tiltfactor, based at Dartmouth College in the US, shows that participation in the game (compared to a control group) reduced players’ levels of stereotyping in later surveys. The team suggest that their critical-thinking approach could provide a framework for making any gaming process a socially responsible and fun experience.
With women’s representation in video games being linked with the continued prevalence of misogyny in gaming communities, creating subtly educational games might be a way to combat media-driven preconceptions. How else could gaming methods help with education?