Looking for an immersive way to teach your employees or students about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)? Game-based learning provides a unique solution to DEI training for organizations and schools. The interactive and immersive nature of video games leads to more memorable, embodied experiences that ultimately lead to higher retention of concepts. Let’s explore how games can be used for DEI training and take a look at some examples of DEI-oriented games!
Why Game-Based Learning Works for DEI Training
There are several reasons why game-based learning is a practical approach to DEI training:
- Games create a safe space for learning.
Games provide a low-risk environment for employees to learn and practice new skills. They can explore different scenarios and outcomes without fear of making mistakes or being judged. This allows them to build their confidence and develop a deeper understanding of DEI concepts.
- Games promote empathy and perspective-taking.
One of the key benefits of games is that they allow players to see things from different perspectives. This is particularly useful for DEI training, where employees and students need to understand and empathize with people from different backgrounds than themselves. By playing games that explore different cultures, identities, and experiences, employees can develop a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by others.
- Games are engaging and motivating.
Traditional training programs often involve passive forms of training, which can lead to low engagement and retention rates. Games, on the other hand, are specifically designed to be fun and engaging, keeping players motivated and interested in the learning process. This leads to better retention and application of DEI concepts in the workplace and other learning environments.
That all being said, it’s important to note that games should be used as part of a broader training program that includes other methods of education and engagement. Games are a valuable tool for DEI training, but they should be used in combination with other approaches to ensure a well-rounded training experience.
Examples of Game-Based DEI Training
Centered around the themes of diversity, equity, and inclusion, EquipT explores complex issues through the perspectives of five coworkers who have diverse backgrounds and identities. Created with our friends at EquipT, this game aims to educate players on how to create a more inclusive and welcoming work environment. The game is centered around the themes of diversity, equity, and inclusion, exploring complex issues through the perspectives of five coworkers who have diverse backgrounds and identities. As players progress through the game, they will encounter a range of scenarios and challenges that require them to apply their knowledge of DEI principles to solve problems and promote positive change in the workplace. By engaging with the game’s characters and their experiences, players will gain a deeper understanding of the importance of DEI in the workplace and how to build a culture of belonging that benefits everyone involved.
SweetXheart is a slice-of-life visual novel game that follows the life of Kara, a 19-year-old Black woman from the Bronx, as she attends an art college and interns at a tech company. Exploring themes of microaggressions, race, and gender through the experiences of Kara, players make decisions that affect her stress levels and overall success in life. Through seemingly small interactions like choosing outfits and commuting to work, the choices players make affect the outcomes of the game. SweetXheart was created by creative technologist Catt Small (who was recently featured in our April 2023 edition of What’s New in Game-based Learning!). The game is available to play in a browser through Itch.io and requires a mouse, touchpad, or touchscreen to play.
An educational puzzle game and a “Binary and Beyond” themed BPB Game Jam winner, What’s Your Gender? is an Antichamber inspired experience that allows players to explore a non-Euclidean maze while learning about gender, identity, and expression in a playful and reassuring manner. Since its release, the game has been updated with additional content and language support and is available in English and German. It is a short game that aims to teach players about important concepts and terms related to gender. You can buy the game on Steam!
via Bellwether Education Partners
DEI concepts aren’t only for the workplace! This game would be an excellent and natural fit in a classroom. Rigged is an empathy game we created with our friends at Bellwether that aims to expose players to the challenges faced by individuals living in underserved communities. Rigged was designed to help players develop a greater understanding and empathy toward underserved youth, such as those who have spent time in juvenile detention or are struggling to navigate the system. Players are put in the shoes of underserved individuals and must balance five in-game domains, including money, relationships, health and wellness, academics, and responsibilities. The choices players make have effects on these domains, with some paths positively affecting some domains while negatively affecting others. Great for social-emotional learning, this game seeks to promote inclusivity and a greater sense of shared perspective. You can play Rigged for free in a web browser!
Game-based learning is an effective approach to DEI training that can engage, motivate, and educate employees and students alike. By creating immersive and interactive experiences, organizations can help individuals develop a deeper understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Games provide a unique opportunity to explore DEI concepts in a safe, engaging, and impactful way.
Looking to create your own DEI-focused game? We’re an educational game developer with 18 years of industry experience, and we’re here to help bring your vision to life. Contact us today for a free consultation!
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