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Simulation Exercise, Exercise

(Ine)Quality Street

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To enable participants to play the “role” of someone else in society and experience (through simulation) another social reality.
To enable participants to experience privilege and exclusion (through simulation) in society.
To enable participants to reflect on inequality, social exclusion, stereotyping, stigma etc.

Description of the tool

- Ask participants to sit in a circle (with or without chairs).
- Each participant is then given a “role” card – this card describes a person who the participant has to play (pretend to be) during the activity – tell participants to think of a name for themselves once they have read their “role” card (it is an interesting strategy to make sure each person plays the role of a person of the opposite gender ).
- Participants are told they will be asked a series of questions – if they can answer “yes” to a question they can collect a sweet (from a box/tin/pile at the centre of the room), if they must answer “no”, they should return one sweet to the central pool.
- As participants are playing the role of someone else, they have to make some decisions (in answering the questions) about the person using their own life experience and imaginations.
- As participants collect sweets, they must make a visible pile of them – for everyone to see.
- If a participant runs out of sweets, they must make a visible sign that they are “out” – perhaps raise their arm or stand up – whatever feels appropriate with the group.
- At the beginning of the game, each participant is given five sweets.
- The trainer should ensure all participants understand the information given on their “role” cards.
- The trainer should read each question twice and make sure everyone understands. If participants are uncertain about an answer, encourage them to imagine themselves as that person and make a decision accordingly.
- When a participant runs out of sweets, the trainer may choose to “expose” that person (more or less depending on how dramatically you want to convey the fact of “exclusion” – e.g. tell the participant to keep their arm raised constantly).
- At the end of the questions, ask participants to count their sweets. It is very apparent that some participants have far more sweets than others.
- Ask participants to describe very briefly their feelings (in the full group).
- Now break into small groups (5 or 6 persons).
- Ask each participant to introduce themselves (in their “role”).
- Discuss and evaluate the experience.
- Possible questions could be (depending on what you most want to explore with the activity):
1. How did you feel in this role?
2. Did you feel privileged or excluded?
3. (For those who ran out of sweets) Did you feel “stigmatised”?
4. Did the activity reflect real life in your opinion?
5. Did the activity highlight differences and inequalities in society more than you had expected?
6. Was the role you played one you found easy (because you could identify with it or know someone similar) or difficult?
7. If difficult, why….and how did you make your decisions – where did your “information” come from?
8. Did you make decisions based on “stereotype”?
9. Would you change any decisions if asked the question again?
10. Did you feel sorry for yourself, in your role - did you see yourself as a “victim”?
11. Do you work with anyone (young person) similar to the role you had to play – how do you feel about that person in “real life”?

Obviously the questions are limitless, but the activity does have an experiential element which can open up the way for much discussion.

Available downloads:


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SALTO cannot be held responsible for the inappropriate use of these training tools. Always adapt training tools to your aims, context, target group and to your own skills! These tools have been used in a variety of formats and situations. Please notify SALTO should you know about the origin of or copyright on this tool.

Tool overview

This tool is for

Group of between 12 and 30 people.

and addresses

Social Inclusion, Anti-Racism, Intercultural Learning, European Citizenship

Materials needed:

Role cards (attached); sweets (allow 10 per person).


30 minutes for the activity – 30 minutes (or more) for evaluative discussion.

Behind the tool

The tool was created by


(If you can claim authorship of this tool, please contact !)

The tool was published to the Toolbox by

Gerald Dowden (on 18 January 2006)

and last modified

17 December 2008

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