Games for Cross-Cultural Training

A Game-Based Tool for Cross-Cultural Discussion: Encouraging Cultural Awareness with Board Games

  • Christian Nyman Gomez University of Skövde
  • Björn Berg Marklund University of Skövde
Keywords: Cultural awareness, cross-cultural training, serious games, board games, classroom contexts


This paper studies whether a board game can effectively raise awareness of cultural differences and their impacts on everyday life. Furthermore, the paper compares whether a board game might achieve this goal more efficiently, or differently, than more traditional ‘open discussion’ exercises. To conduct this study, a board game that present players with cultural dilemmas was designed and developed based on a comparative model of individualistic and collectivistic cultures. The game’s ability to generate discussion and engagement with cross-cultural topics was evaluated and compared with traditional discussion exercises in a series of experimental studies conducted in SFI (Swedish For Immigrants) classrooms. A follow-up survey was also conducted to compare long-term effects between the board game and the traditional discussion exercise. Results indicate that the game benefited participants’ discussions and reflections regarding cultural awareness directly after the game session, and that they retained their attitudes and perceptions of cultural awareness better than participants of the non-game exercise.

How to Cite
Nyman Gomez, C., & Berg Marklund, B. (2018). Games for Cross-Cultural Training: A Game-Based Tool for Cross-Cultural Discussion: Encouraging Cultural Awareness with Board Games. International Journal of Serious Games, 5(4), 81-98.

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