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Room at the Top

Project Leads

Miranda Banks
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Problem Space

In pursuit of success, how do we weigh our own vision with our teams? For all our knowledge about the potential unlocked by diverse and inclusive groups, organizations still struggle to collaborate across differences--choosing, even unconsciously, to work with like-minded individuals.

Proposed Intervention

Room at the Top is a playful intervention against bias and anti-collaboration, a massive multiplayer card game for groups from 12-200 people challenging assumptions about how we collaborate in creative environments. Players take on the role of interplanetary media-makers and compete both as individuals and groups to win the top prize in an intergalactic media festival. Over the course of the game, players hailing from four different planets are challenged to collaborate to create the best creative work, but must pit their individual goals against that of the group. These goals are designed to highlight real-world biases, so players are motivated to work with people similar to them (from the same planet, wearing the same shoes, etc.) to achieve a personal victory. Like in the real world, some players are more powerful than others because of the resources they (and their home planet) bring to the table.

Social Impact

An Official Selection at IndieCade in 2017, Room at the Top continues to be adapted to fit the needs of organizations interested in addressing issues of bias and power imbalances in collaborative environments. It is now regularly played at Emerson College’s New Student Orientation and has been played with film, media, and games students and faculty at Northeastern University, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Occidental College, and soon at the University of South Carolina. It was recently adapted to be played with professional groups including the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce.

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