Abstract Details

Aliens And Astronauts – A Diversity Movement Game

Target Audience

Any organisation/individual who wants to (further) develop understanding around cultural difference, understanding and sensitivity.

Format

Card-based, role-playing game (non-digital).

Key Objectives

  • To teach that when in doubt or ignorant, don’t assume or avoid. Ask the difficult question!
  • To understand that customs can differ with every culture, and we don’t always need to understand. We can just accept these.
  • To show that different people have diverse strengths. When we treat people with respect and don’t exclude them, we can benefit from this.
  • To show that people like to contribute and help but they need to feel included and accepted for who they are. For them to feel this way, we don’t always need to get it right.

Relevance to the Conference: Cultural Diversity

Abstract

The Irish workforce today reflects a diversity of cultures. We, at Diversity Movement, believe that diversity without inclusion is not enough and a genuine behaviour of true inclusion is crucial to make diversity work. Our experiential game Aliens and Astronauts is a card-based, role-playing activity set in an alternative reality, which means participants can discuss diversity & inclusion in a safe, non-bias, and immersive situation.

The year is 2050. Panic on board the spaceship! A meteorite has struck and the damage is devastating. Astronauts must split into teams to gather repair parts. However, these parts must be obtained from the aliens, an intergalactic race equipped with advanced technology. The astronauts must get to know the different customs, cultures and habits of the aliens. Only in this way will they be able to treat the aliens with the needed respect in order to convince them to help fix the spaceship in time.

This simple and fun game consists of three parts:

1) Roles and Instructions

  • Participants are divided into either astronauts or aliens.
  • Every alien team has a secret object they would like to receive from the astronauts in exchange for their technology. (Green card)
  • Every alien team will assume a certain culture with specific customs and a specific way they look. (Purple Card)
  • Every alien team will only answer questions about the secret object if the questions are asked in a respectful way. (Blue Card)
  • Astronauts are equipped with an overview of all possible “Cultures” and “Objects”.

2) Game Rounds

  • Astronauts will visit every alien team to explore and discover different alien customs and cultures. There is a fixed amount of time (which the facilitator oversees) with each alien team.
  • Astronauts will have to ask for the aliens for help respectfully in order to enlist their help and save the spaceship.

3) Questions and Debrief.

  • After the activity, there is time dedicated to feedback and learning.
  • Through questions, sharing of experiences, and conversation, participants discuss insights, key learning points and next steps.

 

Video Link from the Game

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAAh3GEFenU&feature=youtu.be

How the game has been received

Aliens and Astronauts has been well received by clients ranging from corporations, public institutions to secondary schools because it creates a shared vocabulary to talk about cultural diversity within a safe space. In the case of MSD Belgium for example, there are over 15 nationalities and 24 ethnicities, so diversity is built into the very fabric of their workforce. In keeping with the organization’s commitment to fostering an inclusive environment, the MSD Belgium team spearheaded the diversity recruitment program, and Aliens and Astronauts became a standard part of the onboarding process. Participants praised the program for it’s memorable and creative approach to diversity and inclusion. Operator Kevin Kerkhofs said ‘It was a nice way to talk about diversity. The use of the masks and the space creatures ensures that the session stays in our memories’, whilst Operations Coach Andy Nordnes said “It was a very interactive activity that made the vision of the company very clear. It also gives us a framework for future issues.”

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