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About this learning activity


This role-playing game was developed in order to help participants decide how to take action in local scenarios of online gender-based violence (GBV). Each game takes on one specific scenario of an online GBV example.

There are several different Scenarios to choose from, or you can make your own:

  • Blackmailed to Go Back
  • Trolled on Twitter
  • Faked on Facebook
  • Porn Pretender
  • Disinformation to Discredit
  • Watching and Waiting

To play, one Game Facilitator and three teams are needed:

  • Survivor Teams A and B. Each team consists of the Survivor of the online GBV Scenario, and a set of four Advisors: Legal, Solidarity, Communications, Skills.
  • A third team called the Public presents challenges for each Scenario and decides which Survivor Team chose the best strategies given each context.

Each Survivor Team will develop a Survivor persona to address the Scenario and Challenges presented by the Game Facilitator and the Public.

Survivors will justify their chosen first step to the Public, arguing why it is the best option for their persona and local context. The Public can question each Survivor about their choice. The Public then presents a new challenge in the Scenario from the Challenge cards, and Survivor Teams develop and justify new strategies for two more rounds. As Survivor Teams strategise, so does the Public, exploring possible bystander responses.

The Scenario concludes with the Public presenting a plausible ending to the escalating attack. To finalise, the Game Facilitator debriefs how each player felt in their respective role, to tease out insights, including regarding the role of bystanders and the importance of solidarity. If ever facing such a scenario themselves, with a friend or as a bystander, participants will be better equipped to consider possible response and prevention strategies from many angles.

Learning objective this activity responds to

This responds to all the learning objectives in this module.

Although you can opt for Survivor Teams to “play to win”, the real goal of this role-playing discussion is to help participants:

  • explore and weigh strategies for responding to online GBV and understand that there is not just one response; responses are multiple and contextual
  • appreciate the ways in which scenarios can escalate
  • examine how different elements and actors are involved, and the importance of support networks

Who is this activity for?

This game can be participated in by participants with any levels of familiarity on online GBV.

Time required

1.5 – 3 hours

You can play several Scenarios or just one. Each Scenario should be played 2-4 rounds before starting another Scenario. The game entails a lot of discussion around strategies to mitigate online GBV, and how people respond to actions. There must be sufficient time to orient role players, play out the Scenario as well as unpack how people felt in each role.

Resources needed for this activity

  • Printed cards for the game (details in the Cards section)
  • flipchart paper
  • markers
  • tape
  • stickers, poker chips, paper cut into small squares, or individually-wrapped candies, if using tokens
  • Space big enough for teams to be able to have discussions.
  • A table big enough to accommodate the Strategy Cards that each team will be presenting per round.
Continue to activity's next page (Mechanics - Players & Cards)