Parable of the Polygons is a series of playful interactive simulations that lets players experience how seemingly harmless individual choices can collectively result in a segregated and harmful world. In this game, players move the unhappy polygon characters to new places until all the polygons are happy in their communities. Polygon happiness is determined by a formula that reflects the condition of diversity and segregation in each neighborhood.
The instructions are simple and clear, and the game encourages players to experiment using mini simulations to move the polygons. The game sequence, scaffolding, and explanations guide players to experience the formation of segregated or inclusive communities based on different individual biases. After these phases, as players think critically about the ease with which communities fall into segregation, the game provides a summary about how to inspire an inclusive community using small individual changes. The site also supports eleven languages in addition to English.
Parable of the Polygons provides an engaging experience and simulates the social development of segregation and integration. It would be helpful if the site also provided educational resources to scaffold classroom dialogues about this important topic. Younger learners might need help to set, test, and understand hypotheses in the advanced simulations of the game.
Parable of the Polygons provides well-designed simulations that allow learners to make hypotheses and develop explanations for the complex social phenomena of social segregation and inclusion. Educators will be able to use this game as a starting point to engage learners in critical thinking and discussion around these complex and difficult topics.
Image: Image via Parable of the Polygons