The Game of Oppression is designed to be played by 10 to 20 players at a time, with half playing as active participants and the other half as observers. The optimum amount of time allotted to play is four hours to ensure proper facilitation and personal engagement, but the game can be played in a minimum of three hours. The goal is to achieve "enlightment." To do this, the active participants move their pawns around the game board and respond to statements on the playing cards. After a set period of time, the two groups switch roles. At the end of the game, all players participate in a reflection and group discussion period to synthesize the game experience for each participant.The Game Of Oppression—National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).Publications
I spoke with a colleague who attended the presentation about the â€?game.â€? She was appalled. My colleague is White and she said that this â€?gameâ€? does not create a â€?safe spaceâ€? and that it is basically an exercise in tokenization. Further reading of the gameâ€™s description says that the gameâ€™s goal is to help participants â€?achieve enlightenment.â€? The game is somehow supposed to do this in 3 to 4 hours!The â€?Game of Oppressionâ€? Â» Eric Stollerâ€™s blog
If I were him, I would make snarky remark about the fact that it comes, (really!) "10 colored pawns."
But seriously, even if you were to concede that the state of black America is due to oppression, no one could believe that there is more than one oppressed group on a college campus--and that group is white people. And it's gameplayers like NASPA who are doing the oppression:
The darkest nightmare of the literature on power is George Orwell's 1984, where there is not even an interior space of privacy and self. Winston Smith faces the ultimate and consistent logic of the argument that everything is political, and he can only dream of "a time when there were still privacy, love, and friendship, and when members of a family stood by one another without needing to know the reason."
Orwell did not know that as he wrote, Mao's China was subjecting university students to "thought reform," known also as "re-education," that was not complete until children had denounced the lives and political morals of their parents and emerged as "progressive" in a manner satisfactory to their trainers. In the diversity education film Skin Deep, a favorite in academic "sensitivity training," a white student in his third day of a "facilitated" retreat on race, with his name on the screen and his college and hometown identified, confesses his family's inertial Southern racism and, catching his breath, says to the group (and to the thousands of students who will see this film on their own campuses), "It's a tough choice, choosing what's right and choosing your family."[Thought Reform 101By Alan Charles Kors, Reason Magazine, March 2000]