“Words Like Daggers”, a game for the prevention of radicalization

“Words Like Daggers”, a game for the prevention of radicalization which was played in the city of Smolyan

Words like daggers” is the first game of the “GAME CHANGER” campaign in Bulgaria, which our team has put to the trial in this country.What is “Words like daggers”?

This is a role-playing game which simulates an online environment that helps uncover the roots of hate speech and other negative online behaviours. Players take on the roles of influencers and audience members. Situations, which we can witness in our everyday lives, are being stimulated. The game is an exciting copy of life. It helps you understand your own position and helps you be able to build your defence if facing a similar situation in the future.

In the beginning of the game the youths approached the situation as if they were on stage. They knew that these were just roles and that they should have fun while playing them. However, without notice, they started opening up and showing real emotions. In the debriefing they shared about various similar situations in which they had found themselves, and together with the other kids they discussed possible ways out of such situations. The 30 minutes of discussion we had planned were not enough to end the game. We have certainly outlined methods about how to “turn the game on its head” and not allow the influence of social networks to remain uncontrollable and obsessive.

The pilot edition for Bulgaria involved young people aged 14 to 18 in the city of Smolyan, in the wonderful club of Young Improvers for Youth Development – YIYD @youngimprovers · Youth Organization. The space allows for different activities to take place, and in our case we did not need a great decor for the different scenes of the game.

A large part of the group wanted to play again, either this game or another one. There are 3 more games to be had, and our team will be happy to meet more young people from Smolyan, Sofia and Veliki Preslav to turn the game on its head.

Game Changers is a project of the Foundation “TechSoup”, and is happening thanks to the support of the European Union. It was a pleasure for us to get acquainted with the games they have created and to put them to the trial in Bulgaria. After today, we increasingly see meaning in them and will make them part of our tools for working with young people.

Follow the other games, and if you want to join, write us via e-mail at info@openspacebg.com by writing “Let’s Change the Game!” as the subject of your message.

An idea of our volunteers in Smolyan town, with support of program “European solidarity corps” of EU