I (dis)agree

Goals of the exercise: Face our fear of the unknown, develop an interest in new things, define ourselves
Age of the participants: 13+
Number of participants: 5-16
Duration of the exercise: up to 60 minutes
Materials: a game token for each player, a game board and a set of cards (see Building the game)

Step by step

  1. All participants choose a game token (game piece, a card with a name/picture) and sit around the game board.
  2. One player draws a card from the question deck and reads the question aloud. (It can be the facilitator, or the players can take turns.)
  3. Every player places their token on one of the designated “opinion” positions.
  4. The players discuss their answers. Why did they choose this opinion? During the discussion, the players may change their mind and move their token to a different position.
  5. Everyone takes back their token, and another card is drawn.
  6. The game continues as long as required (or until there are no more cards).

How to create the game set

The game consists of a board and a deck of cards. We prepared printable PDFs of the cards (A4 card sheet) and the board (A3 versionA4 version), but you can of course create your own.

The board

The board has 6 designated positions – one for the deck of question cards and six “opinion” positions for the player tokens. The opinions are:

  • I agree!
  • I mostly agree.
  • I don’t know…
  • I mostly disagree.
  • I disagree!

The cards

Create a deck of cards with statements which the participants will be expressing their opinions on. The statements are:

  • Sometimes I really wonder about my identity.
  • The division of gender makes life/love interesting!
  • I can say precisely what my preferences and opinions are.
  • I am sure that I will never fall in love with a person of the same gender.
  • The people of the other gender will always be a mystery to me.
  • I’m strong only with my partner.
  • I often have inhibitions around a stranger.
  • I can imagine life without classification in (two) sexes, gender etc.
  • Man-woman relationships are necessary to ensure the survival of mankind.
  • I think it’s important that everyone can live the way they want.
  • If we love each other enough, the question of power does not matter in a relationship.
  • It matters a lot in this society, whether I am male or female.
  • Heterosexuals are foreign to me.
  • Gender symbols such as clothing, hair, etc. make it clear to others where I belong.
  • Gender is an important thing for your own identity.
  • I find playing with gender roles interesting.
  • I think the “gender deconstruction” is at the moment a typical fashion theme.
  • Adaptation to the social conditions is a virtue.
  • I can’t understand people who get an operation to change their bodies to follow their felt gender.
  • Non-socially compliant people should stay in their subculture.
  • My life is preordained of my innate gender.
  • Traditional gender identities confuse me!

You can modify or add your own questions to create a personalized deck, for example depending on the age group.

Debriefing

After the game, the participants discuss their experience. Here are some questions for the discussion:

  • Why is the unknown so scary to us?
  • Can we overcome our fears by gathering as much information as possible?
  • Is learning more about the strangers around us enough to guard against prejudice?
  • How much self-confidence do people, groups, states and cultures need to tolerate and respect what is different?
  • What requirements does tolerance or acceptance have?

Authorship/adaptation or source: adaptation of a “line game” from Compass: Manual for Human Rights (“Where do you stand?“)
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