Tuesday, February 17, 2009

On Persecution Games

It is quite common in church camp to play simulation games on the persecution of Christians. I am opposed to such games for a few reasons.
1. The simulation is a far cry of what real people have to go through, so I question the learning value.
2. If it is intended to be fun, why trivialize a very real and important part of our history?
3. The danger that goes with playing and running with the dark.

But my biggest concern has got to do with the psychological impact on the participants, especially the "persecutors". Thankfully, I now know the true backing of my fears: Standford prison experiment.

From Wikipedia: "In psychology, the results of the experiment are said to support situational attributions of behaviour rather than dispositional attribution. In other words, it seemed the situation caused the participants' behaviour, rather than anything inherent in their individual personalities. In this way, it is compatible with the results of the also-famous Milgram experiment, in which ordinary people fulfilled orders to administer what appeared to be damaging electric shocks to a confederate of the experimenter."

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