Aliens and Astronauts: a diversity training game
We're taking the theory around Diversity & Inclusion and exemplifying it in a game.
Aliens and Astronauts re-imagines diversity in the workplace as an intergalactic adventure where our two protagonists, the Aliens and Astronauts, must accept each other's differences in order to achieve a common goal.
It's always challenging working with a team of different co-workers. Communication styles, habits, mannerisms and even the way they look and dress can appear foreign and intimidating. It's not easy to get pass these differences and sometimes it affects the quality of work.
In their words...
As someone who works first-hand with different cultures and ethnicities, embracing diversity is easier said than done. I understand that the management is encouraging me to embrace diversity, but I just do not understand and relate to my co-workers . How can I possibly benefit from that?
- Nils, Manufacturing Operator
Diversity and Inclusion is extremely important in making sure our teams perform at their best. However, the conversation must be ongoing, and learning points from any D&I training must be simple and memorable enough to live on in everyday work life. A one-off theoretical deployment isn't enough.
- Paula, Floor manager
Why our game works
It teaches respect
Differences in habits and customs are just that. Different. Players learn that differences should be accepted and appreciated for what they are. It is ok to not understand them fully, but a conscious effort must be made to respect them.
It finds value in differences
Players learn that a diverse environment opens up a wide range of perspectives and new ideas, some of which may bring solutions to difficult problems. This brings a breath of fresh air to workplaces, creating vibrant, innovative environments.
It's a memorable format
Aliens and Astronauts shares simple learning points through a memorable playing format.
This increases learning retention, and provides a useful framework for managers to refer back to long after the game is over.
Here's how the game is played:
Aliens and Astronauts is a card-based, role-playing game.
The year is 2050. Astronauts, in a race to advance space exploration, must work with different Alien races to obtain crucial information and technology. Only with the Aliens' help can they build the right spaceship to take them into the farthest reaches of space.
But Aliens aren't like Astronauts. Hailing from different planets and solar systems, Aliens communicate and behave in unique ways. In exchange for their advanced technology, Astronauts must uncover the right Earthling item to barter while respecting the Aliens' cultural norms.
PICK A ROLE
Be an Astronaut or an Alien
As an Alien, dress in your race's unique costume and adopt your distinctive Alien quirk (no eye contact when conversing is one!). The Astronauts want your precious knowledge, but you're only sharing if they trade with you the Earthling item you desire, and they approach you respectfully.
As an Astronaut, you're on a mission to barter Earthling items with various Alien races in exchange for advanced spaceship technology. Your challenge is to figure out how to approach and communicate with each Alien race in the right manner, or risk being snubbed.
THE BARTER BEGINS
Figure out the terms of trade
Armed with a laundry list of Earthling items, Astronauts must decipher which items are coveted by each Alien race through a series of Yes/No questions. However, how the Astronauts interact with the Aliens will determine if the barter is successful.
By referring to an Alien Culture guidebook, Astronauts must match the appropriate behaviour to the right Alien race. Showing respect for the Alien's culture will earn the Astronauts answers to their questions.