Take Back the Tech Game

About this learning activity

This game was developed in order to get participants to strategise actions to address online GBV cases. Each game takes on one specific scenario of an online GBV example.

The scenarios you can choose from are:

  • Blackmailed to Behave
  • Trolled on Twitter
  • Faked on Facebook

There are three teams in this game:

  • There are two Survivor Teams that consist of the Survivor of the online GBV case, and a set of Advisors
  • One team called, The Public, who is in charge of presenting more Challenges to the case, and also decides which Survivor Team wins.

In order to win, a team must get more points from the Public than the other team. The game will be played in 5 rounds. At the end of the 5th round, there is 5 extra points that the Public will award to the Survivor team that had the most cohesive set of strategies.

Depending on how much time the workshop has, you can play all three scenarios, or just play one. Each scenario must be played to its end before starting another scenario.

This game entails a lot of discussion around strategies to mitigate online GBV, and how people respond to actions.

This game requires a minimum 10 participants (where players per team will play multiple Advisor roles).

Learning objective this activity responds to

This responds to all the learning objectives in this module.

Specifically, this game was designed to gather strategies of responses, in particular to escalating situations. To show that there is no one response, but is responses are contextual and multiple. This game was also meant to surface the importance of support networks.

Who is this activity for?

This game can be participated in by participants with different levels of familiarity on online GBV.

Time required

90 minutes for 1 scenario

Resources needed for this activity

  • Printed cards for the game (details in the Cards section)
  • Space big enough for teams to be able to have discussions.
  • A table big enough to accommodate the Strategy Cards that each team will be presenting per round.

Mechanics

Players

The participants will be split into three teams:

  • Survivor Team A
  • Survivor Team B
  • Public

The Survivor Teams ideally would have 5 players per team. Each player has a role:

  1. Survivor: Ultimately decides what strategy to play
  2. Content Advisor: Provides advice to the Survivor about content-based strategies. The Content Advisor holds the Content Strategy Cards.
  3. Legal Advisor: Provides legal advice to the Survivor. The Legal Advisory holds the Legal Strategy Cards
  4. Solidarity Advisor: Provides advice to the Survivor relating to getting support from other people on the internet. The Solidarity Advisor holds the Solidarity Strategy Cards.
  5. Skills Advisor: Provides advice to the Survivor about what she can do online. The Skills Advisor holds the Solidarity Strategy Cards.

Both teams have the same roles, and have the same cards. Each advisor will choose one of their Strategy Cards, based on the scenario and the status of the case, and show it to the Survivor. The Survivor chooses one of the strategies presented to her to show to the Public. Un-chosen Strategy Cards go back to hands of their respective Advisors, and can be used in another round. Once a strategy card is chosen by a Survivor, unless otherwise instructed or during an Escalation Round, it will be discarded from the Game.

The Public should have an odd number of players in it. There is only one Public team. The Public holds the Challenge Cards. The Public collectively decides which Challenge Cards to play based on the strategies of the Survivor Teams. But decides individually which Survivor Team to support per round. To show their support to a Survivor Team, each member gives a Token Card to a team. Each member of the Public gets 5 Token Cards.

Once the Survivors and their teams present their chosen strategy for the round, they are allowed to argue why it is a good strategy in order to convince the Public to give them their Token Cards.

Suggested variation: Members of the public who have given a Survivor Team three tokens before the game ends, becomes a member of that team and provides extra advice to that team.

Members of the Public can also choose not to support any team per round. But members of the Public who do not give a token to any team by the end of the game would be asked to explain their lack of participation in the game.

The Game Moderator is an individual role. She keeps time. She reads the scenario out loud. She keeps the game running smoothly. She holds the Escalation Cards. The Public can call for an Escalation two times per game (per scenario), and the Game Moderator chooses from her deck.

When an Escalation Card is called, the two Survivors from each team can choose two strategies from the Strategy Cards that their respective Advisors have presented to them.

Cards

There are

  1. Token Cards (5 for each member of the Public)
  2. Content Strategy Cards (5 per Advisor; one Content Advisor per Survivor Team)
  3. Legal Strategy Cards (5 per Advisor; one Legal Advisor per Survivor Team)
  4. Solidarity Strategy Cards (5 per Advisor; one Solidarity Advisor per Survivor Team)
  5. Skills Strategy Cards (5 per Advisor; one Skills Advisor per Survivor Team)
  6. Initial Scenario Cards (3 copies of the initial scenario per scenario: one each for the Survivor Teams and the Public)
  7. Challenge Cards (4 per Scenario)
  8. Escalation Cards (4 per Scenario)

Token Cards

All games, no matter the scenario will have these Token Cards. These are the cards that each member of the Public holds to show their support for a strategy selected by a Survivor Team.

Each member of the Public will have 5 Token Cards each. For each round, each member of the Public can give one Token Card to a team of their choosing.

At the end of the 5th round, the Public has 5 extra Token Cards that they must award to the Survivor Team that they feel had the most cohesive set of strategies. They need to reach consensus as to which team gets these 5 extra Token Cards, as they award this as group.

The Token Cards are collected by the Survivor Teams, and tallied at the end of Round 5 to determine the winner.

Note: Depending on the size of your group, you can have more players in the Public than in the Survivor Teams.

Strategy Cards

All games, no matter the scenario will have these Strategy Cards.

Content Advisor
1. Publish a piece of writing about the experience + a post-it write down details: Title of the piece, where it is published, where it is going to be distributed
2. Contact media about the experience + a post it to write down details: Which media agency
3. Write to feminist blogs asking them to write about the experience + a post-it for details: Which feminist blogs?
4. Respond and reply to attacks on social media + a post-it for details: What is the response? is there a hashtag for the response? Which communities will be your targets and allies?
5. [Come up with your own content strategy]

Legal Advisor
1. Call a lawyer, ask them to file a lawsuit + a post-it to write down details: Which law/s will you be citing?
2. Go to the police, file a report
3. Document the experience to use legally
4. Submit a report of abuse to the social media platform + a post it for details: which platform and which part of their policies will you use to lodge a complaint?
5. [Come up with your own legal strategy]

Solidarity Advisor
1. Email friends / activists asking for support + a post it for details: what kind of support will you ask for? who will you reach out to?
2. Create a campaign to highlight the abuse + a post it for details: Name of the campaign, who is the target, what is the action, who are your allies?
3. Go stay with a good friend for a few days
4. Ignore the attack and carry on as usual
5. [Come up with your own solidarity strategy]

Skills Advisor
1. Double check privacy settings of accounts and passwords
2. Close down social media accounts
3. Go offline for a while
4. Report the abusive accounts/content + a post-it for details: to which platforms and what policies will to make sure that your report is going to be heard?
5. [Come up with your own skills strategy]

Scenarios + Challenge and Escalation Cards

There are specific Challenge and Escalation Cards for each scenario.

1. Blackmailed to Behave

This scenario is taken from here: https://www.takebackthetech.net/know-more/blackmail

Initial Scenario Card (printed on a card with copies given to all teams, or projected on the wall, or written on butcher paper)

blackmail1.png

¨An ex-partner is threatening to expose your naked pictures on the internet, if you doesn´t give him money. You are desperate for a solution.¨

Challenge Cards for Blackmailed to Behave
  1. There is no law in your country against blackmail and extortion.
  2. Your family and friends are conservative, and will blame you for having nude pictures.
  3. Your Ex is great at making internet memes — he has a following on social media.
  4. Your Ex is not just asking for money from you now, he wants you back — in his bed!
  5. Blank Challenge: The Public decides what the Challenge is.
Escalation Cards for Blackmailed to Behave
  1. Your Ex just messaged you. His phone with her pictures was stolen! He has lost control over her photos!
  2. Your photos are released on social media.
  3. Your Ex´s followers have created memes, using your pictures, to slut and body shame you.
  4. Blank Escalation Card: The Game Moderator decides how to Escalate the situation.

2. Trolled on Twitter

Initial Scenario Card (printed on a card with copies given to all teams, or projected on the wall, or written on butcher paper)

¨You are a feminist activist. You are very much opposed to the misogynistic and bigoted statements that your current President has been saying. You appeared in a video that went viral, criticising the President. Now, there is a Twitter mob against you because of what you said in that video. Some of them are threatening to publish details about you.¨

Challenge Cards for Trolled on Twitter
  1. Twitter responds to your reports stating there is no violation of community standards.
  2. You are queer. But no one in your family and your work place knows about it. If this gets out, you´re in trouble.
  3. Your photos are made into memes with derogatory remarks that attack both your person and your values. They get circulated.
  4. Blank Challenge Card: The Public decides what the Challenge is.
Escalation Cards for Trolled on Twitter
  1. You get reported and blocked out of your own Twitter account.
  2. A local celebrity just re-tweeted a meme against you.
  3. Someone posts private information about you: Your address, your location, your work place.
  4. Blank Escalation Card: The Game Moderator decides how to Escalate the situation.

3. Faked on Facebook

Initial Scenario Card (printed on a card with copies given to all teams, or projected on the wall, or written on butcher paper)

¨Someone is screen-grabbing all of your photos on Facebook, and has created accounts with them and your name. You don´t know why, and how many accounts there are with your pictures in it. And you don´t know how to make it stop.¨

Challenge Cards for Followed on Facebook
  1. Some of the accounts using your name and photos is posting rude, misogynist, racist comments.
  2. One of your donors followed one of the fake accounts because they thought it was you. Now your donor is emailing you for an explanation as to your messages toward them.
  3. You are not a Verified Facebook Account, so Facebook can´t verify your identity.
  4. Blank Challenge Card: The Public decides what the Challenge is.
Escalation Cards for Followed on Facebook
  1. The fake accounts in your name have real information about you.
  2. You have been locked out Facebook. You´ve lost access to your Facebook account.
  3. A fake account in your name and with your photos is posting obscene photos on your organisation´s Facebook wall.
  4. Blank Escalation Card: The Game Moderator decides how to escalate the situation.

Game Play

The trainer / facilitator chooses a scenario for the game. The available scenarios are:

  • Blackmailed to Behave
  • Trolled on Twitter
  • Faked on Facebook

Each scenario has its own Challenge and Escalation Cards.

Once the challenge is chosen, the trainer / facilitator groups people into teams, and the Survivor Teams decide who plays what role in the team. That role will last until a scenario is played out.

Once the teams have their roles, the trainer / faciliator:

  • distributes the Strategy Cards to the right Advisors
  • hands the Challenge Card Deck to the Public
  • hands the Game Moderator (if another participant is fulfilling this role) the Escalation Cards

The game begins.

  1. The Game Moderator reads the scenario out loud.
  2. Then each Advisor from each team is given 3 minutes to pick a strategy from their deck to show to the Survivor. Once an Advisor presents a strategy to the Survivor, the Advisor cannot change her strategy.
  3. Each Survivor Team discusses the available strategies to help the Survivor make a decision. The role of the Advisors here is not to get their strategy picked, but for their team to get support from the Public members. While the Survivor Teams discuss, the Public is should also be discussing the scenario and what strategy they think the teams should take. The teams have 5 minutes to do this.
  4. Each Survivor presents her chosen strategy to the Public by reading the strategy aloud, and placing the Strategy Cards on the table in front of the Public.
  5. Each member of the Public then decides which team gets their support. They can consult each other at this stage, and ask follow-up questions from the teams.
  6. Survivor Teams A and B are allowed to argue their case to convince the Public to support them.
  7. Each team keeps the Token Cards they received for counting at the end of the game.
  8. The strategy cards that the Survivor teams remain on the table in front of the Public.

Round 1 ends. Round 2 begins.

  1. The Public collectively decides on the Challenge Card to use based on the strategies that the Survivor Teams have presented. Depending on the strategies that the Survivor teams have used, the Public can decide to give each team a different Challenge or the same Challenge for both teams. The Challenge Cards are laid on the table. The Public can also call for an Escalation. If they do so, scroll down for Escalation instructions. The Public can only call for an Escalation Card two times per game. The Public has 5 minutes to choose a Challenge.
  2. The Survivor from each team reads their Challenge Cards aloud.
  3. Then each Advisor from each team is given 2 minutes to pick a strategy from their deck to show to the Survivor. Once an Advisor presents a strategy to the Survivor, the Advisor cannot change her strategy.
  4. Each Survivor Team discusses the available strategies to help the Survivor make a decision.
  5. Each Survivor presents her chosen strategy to the Public by reading the strategy aloud, and placing the Strategy Cards on the table in front of the Public.
  6. Each member of the Public then decides which team gets their support. They can consult each other at this stage, and ask follow-up questions from the teams.
  7. Survivor Teams A and B are allowed to argue their case to convince the Public to support them.
  8. Each team keeps the Token Cards they received for counting at the end of the game.
  9. The strategy cards that the Survivor teams remain on the table in front of the Public.

Note: It is a good strategy for the Public to pick a Challenge Card to the winning strategy (the team that got the most tokens) to keep it fair.

And so on and so forth until the end of Round 5.

At the end of Round 5, the Public discusses which team has the most cohesive set of strategies, and decides as a group to award one team with 5 extra Token Cards.

Each Survivor Team tallies the number of Token Cards they have received from the Public. The team with the most wins the game.

When an Escalation Card is called

  1. The Game Moderator selects an Escalation Card and reads out loud. An Escalation Card applies to both Survivor teams.
  2. Then each Advisor from each team is given 2 minutes to pick a strategy from their deck to show to the Survivor. Once an Advisor presents a strategy to the Survivor, the Advisor cannot change her strategy.
  3. Each Survivor Team discusses the available strategies to help the Survivor make a decision. In an Escalation round, used Strategy Cards are back on the table temporarily. Each team decides to use 1 used Strategy Card to play, or 2 new Strategy Cards.
  4. Each Survivor presents her chosen strategy to the Public by reading the strategy aloud, and placing the Strategy Cards on the table in front of the Public.
  5. Each member of the Public then decides which team gets their support. They can consult each other at this stage, and ask follow-up questions from the teams.
  6. Survivor Teams A and B are allowed to argue their case to convince the Public to support them.
  7. Each team keeps the Token Cards they received for counting at the end of the game.
  8. The strategy cards that the Survivor teams remain on the table in front of the Public.

The Escalation round ends.

Suggested distribution of participants

Number of participants Survivor Team A Survivor Team B The Public Game Moderator
16 (ideal) 5 5 5 1
15 5 5 5 trainer / facilitator is Game Moderator
14 3 (one survivor + two Advisors for all areas) 3 (one survivor + two Advisors for all areas) 7 1
12 3 (one survivor + two Advisors for all areas) 3 (one survivor + two Advisors for all areas) 5 1
10 3 (one survivor + two Advisors for all areas) 3 (one survivor + two Advisors for all areas) 3 1
9 3 (one survivor + two Advisors for all areas) 3 (one survivor + two Advisors for all areas) 3 trainer / facilitator is Game Moderator
18 5 5 7 1
20 5 5 9 1

Note: It is ideal that there is a minimum number of three players per Survivor Team and the Public.

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