Topics and Competencies

Awareness of Structural Inequality, Knowledge of Identity-General Characteristics of Inequality, Culture, Simulations

Grade Level

High SchoolCollege/Adult

Subject Area Integration



University of Michigan


Inclusive Teaching at U-M, University of Michigan

Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan with Raja Thiagarajan, BARNGA: A Simulation Game on
Cultural Clashes, Boston: Intercultural Press, 2006

Date Created/Most Recently Revised



45-60 minutes


Type and Level of Engagement

Group Work, High Engagement


Learning Objectives

  • Appreciate differences in communication styles and cultural norms
  • Understand sources of cultural conflict
  • Learn to communicate effectively across cultures


  • A room with several sets of tables and chairs, enough for each participant
  • Sets of rules
  • Tournament guidelines
  • A deck of cards for each group
  • Table marker
  • Scrap paper and writing utensils


  • See Inclusive Teaching website. Participants will play a card game tournament, but different groups are playing by different rules. The differing rules simulate cultural differences.




Evidence of Effectiveness

Bauer, K., & Bai, Y. (2015). Innovative educational activities using a model to improve cultural competency among graduate students. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 174, 705-710.

Fowler, S. M. (1994). Two decades of using simulation games for cross-cultural training. Simulation & Gaming, 25(4), 464-476.

Fowler, S. M., & Pusch, M. D. (2010). Intercultural simulation games: A review (of the United States and beyond). Simulation & Gaming, 41(1), 94-115.

Gallavan, N. P., & Webster-Smith, A. (2009). Advancing cultural competence and intercultural consciousness through a cross-cultural simulation with teacher candidates. Journal of Praxis in Multicultural Education, 4(1), 7.

Hofhuis, J., Schilderman, M. F., & Verdooren, A. (2020). Multicultural personality and effectiveness in an intercultural training simulation: The role of stress and pro‐active communication. International Journal of Psychology, 55(5), 812-821.

Koskinen, L., Abdelhamid, P., & Likitalo, H. (2008). The simulation method for learning cultural awareness in nursing. Diversity in Health and Social Care, 5(1), 55-63.

Related Activities

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Ratings and Reviews

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