In Your Shoes – a dilemma game

How does it feel to be in someone else’s shoes? The question is asked by the Danish reverend and former LIU participant, Janni Persson, who has developed a new game to help young people to see that the world might look different if you are in someone else’s shoes. 

The game, In Your Shoes, is dilemma game aimed to challenge young people in the age between 12 and 16 on cultural, social, and religious issues. Yong people at that age are at an important stage in life where important developments of identity and mentality are taking place. Janni has experienced through her interaction with young people in confirmation preparation class that it is at this age young people's identity is formed and they begin to shape their worldview. The goal with the game is, therefore, to challenge the youth to see things from a different perspective. See how the world looks in someone else’s shoes, so to speak. This, Janni hopes, will open the minds of young people to the diversity that exists in society today and provide them with tools to accept this. Her hope is that the game will help to eliminate prejudices and instead build bridges to the ‘others’ in society.
The basic idea of the game is to unite and exchange thoughts and perspectives regarding social, cultural and religious differences or ideas among the participants. The game is a so-called dilemma game and can be played in both smaller and larger groups. The participants are presented with a dilemma (most often something which can be encountered by young people in school, among friends, or in the family). Every player gets an opportunity to present how s/he thinks the dilemma can be solved. Everyone has to listen to the arguments of all, but are allowed to ask (challenging) questions afterwards. The game is a ‘debate-game’ where the debate of the different ‘solutions’ to the dilemma is the main objective, this means that sometimes a solution to the dilemma can be agreed upon by the participants, and sometimes not. However, agreement is not the goal of the game. It is rather the exchange of perspectives on the solution to the dilemma, as this will show the participants how the world looks from their shoes.    
Janni developed the game from interacting with around 30 young people in confirmation preparation in the church. She found that life as teenager in the year 2017 has changed, since she herself was a teenager, and she therefore ‘tested’ the game and the dilemmas on the group of young people. When playing the game and discussing dilemmas, Janni received valuable feedback. This interaction with the youth has improved the game a lot, Janni thinks.
Janni hopes that In Your Shoes will be a valuable tool to further open the minds of young people and make them aware that the world might look different if you are in someone else’s shoes.