In Fair Play, players take on the perspective of Jamal Davis, a young Black graduate student, on his way to becoming a renowned professor. As Jamal, players must conquer implicit bias, explore surroundings, and build Jamal's network to prove his full research potential. The game provides ample opportunity for players to experience implicit biases, particularly in encounters with other characters, as they navigate the world of academia as Jamal.
Implicit biases are unconscious assumptions based on group stereotypes. Research has found that taking the cognitive perspective of an individual from a stigmatized group can reduce one's implicit bias. It is through social interactions with other characters, as a form of role-play, that Fair Play simulates real-life bias encounters to raise awareness about people's implicit biases. while challenging players to identify, and act on these biases, in real-time.
Throughout the game there are instances that exemplify several kinds of racial biases (Racial microaggressions, color blind attitude, etc.), to which the player is given a list of responses. The player must choose the best response to these biases while trying to improve relationships with the game's characters to improve his academic career.
Unfortunately, we all are biased to some degree, and these biases stem from stereotypes we inherit from our culture. These biases, whether consciously endorsed or not, have a cumulative effect and contribute to the lack of diversity in academia. Fair Play draws from research in the field of game studies and implicit bias to create an immersive experience where players can see the impact of implicit bias, in an academic setting, first hand. What implicit biases do people have? How do they affect one's academic career? If a person exhibits a racial bias, do I address it or ignore it? These are the kinds of questions at the heart of Fair Play.
Players will be able to understand different kinds of racial biases, and will be able to demonstrate different strategies to deal with biases which the players themselves may experience in their daily lives.