Dialogo! – a new board game launched by the Vienna-based International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) – has been created to encourage conversations on sensitive topics, values, beliefs and current global issues in a fun and engaging way.
Targeting players aged 10 or over, with a dual purpose as an educational aid, it can be played by families, students, teachers, youth leaders or peace builders: it encourages critical thinking and advocates respect for the other.
“In our work training religious leaders around the world, we often see that tension begins with an inability to understand somebody else’s position, and an inability to communicate one’s own,” said program manager Katerina Khareyn.
“When we cannot discuss our differences in peaceful, respectful ways, that is when misunderstandings begin. This is just as true for families and schools as it is for countries. This game is our effort to make our dialogue methodology available to individuals and communities everywhere, so that they can discuss challenging topics in a constructive manner.”
KAICIID collaborated with Chicago-based Mumkin Studio to develop a prototype that was initially tested during the Centre’s “Dialogue for Peace” training sessions with young Scouts. The final version of the game was produced following several rounds of testing with various sample groups, feedback and participatory workshops.
Khareyn says Dialogo! challenges players to practice facilitation skills, overcome misunderstandings, dispel stereotypes, and develop better listening and communication skills.
“We foresee it being used by teachers who want to encourage respectful discussions of difference in their classroom, or by parents who want to teach their children about mutual understanding with others. It has already been used as a facilitation tool by groups at KAICIID to dialogue on topics as diverse as religious symbols, gender, and migration with considerable success. It’s also a fun, enjoyable way to promote team building,” she said.
Downloadable for free from KAICIID’s website, the game is currently available in English, German, Spanish and Russian. Translations to Arabic, Burmese and French, are in process.
“Dialogue is needed at all levels, in every corner of the world,” adds KAICIID secretary general Faisal bin Muaammar. At KAICIID, we are not only applying interreligious dialogue to help reduce tensions, and offering dialogue trainings to peace builders and religious leaders around the world. With Dialogo!, we can bring dialogue to schools, homes, communities and young people on a global level. Through this game, we are aiming to make dialogue a fun learning experience for everyone.”
KAICIID is an intergovernmental organisation that promotes the use of dialogue globally to strengthen social cohesion and to enhance understanding and cooperation. The centre was founded by the governments of Austria, Saudi Arabia and Spain with the Holy See as its Founding Observer. Its board comprises prominent representatives from five major world religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism.