Tiltfactor’s card game uses word association to challenge race and gender stereotyping, with research suggesting that it successfully impacts the player's thinking
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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?