New Indonesian game spreads the love

The Living Unity in Diversity board game rewards players who appreciate religious and ethnic differences.

By Yenny Herawati for Khabar Southeast Asia in Jakarta

August 15, 2014
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The object of the popular board game Monopoly is to crush the competition and amass unrivalled wealth.

  •  Experts huddle in Jakarta on June 3rd to discuss how the Living Unity in Diversity Game promotes tolerance. [Suseno/For Khabar]

    Experts huddle in Jakarta on June 3rd to discuss how the Living Unity in Diversity Game promotes tolerance. [Suseno/For Khabar]

But in the new board game LivingUnity in Diversity, the object is to move along the path of life and win by building a peaceful and tolerant society .

The board is divided into four multi-coloured swirls featuring vivid, cartoon-like panels with love signs replacing dollar signs. Players accumulate points by investing in diversity, tolerance and other building blocks of a solid society, according to its creators at the Wahid Institute (WI).

"With this game, we are hoping that people will remember that despite our differences, we still can live in harmony," WI director Anita Wahid told Khabar Southeast Asia. "This will continue our efforts to improve tolerance in Indonesia ."

WI chose experts from different backgrounds to design the game, which sells for Rp. 80,000 ($7), for youths aged 15 to 17. But the group hopes it will also appeal to adults.

The idea is to condition people into thinking about countering violence, Cahaya Guru Foundation (YCG) director Henny Supolo Sitepu said. "The foundation of the game is to appreciate and respect differences," she told Khabar.

Bambang Widodo, 13, enjoyed playing the game.

"The game is competitive like Monopoly, but instead of gaining capital like in monopoly, it is more peaceful," he said. "The game helped me to understand that tolerance is very important for living in a diverse society like Indonesia."

Aiding de-radicalisation

The concept for the game arose in response to concern about growing radicalism in Indonesia, WI senior researcher Alamsyah M. Djafar said.

"We are concerned about the future of Indonesia. Intolerance has been seen everywhere," he told Khabar.

Alamsyah added many schools who tested the game responded to it positively.

"In Jakarta, most of the teachers and students support this idea. We hope that through the game, we can see an improvement in tolerance in Indonesia," he said.

"The game introduces positive values – love, openness, commitment and integrity," Fanny Winara, a psychology expert at theUniversity of Indonesia, told Khabar.

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