MIT Video Game Tests Players’ Discriminatory Thinking, Xenophobia

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) designed a video game that forces players to compare the “limited” cultural exposure of a white Midwestern woman with a Muslim woman on an airplane. MIT researchers said the game, “On the Plane” allows the player to develop a greater perspective by challenging “ingroup-outgroup biases within the context of xenophobia.”

From The Blaze:

"We can customize how comfortable Marianne, the ingroup member, appears while interacting with Sarah, the outgroup member," wrote the researchers. "By the same token, we can customize how Sarah dynamically reacts to the xenophobic attitudes portrayed by Marianne."

"Through the exchange between the two passengers, players experience how one passenger's xenophobia manifests itself and how it affects the other passenger. The simulation engages players in critical reflection and seeks to foster empathy for the passenger who was 'othered' due to her outfit being not so 'prototypical' of what an American should look like," [Caglar Yildirim] told MIT News.