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The purpose of the project is to enable people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with contemporary debates on human rights and equality, in the context of an imaginative and immersive set of narratives and games. 

The aim is to confront real and difficult issues, particularly around clashing rights, but in a setting which is liberating, engaging and enjoyable.   As academic lawyers, our aim is to encourage discussion which might lead to positive responses to contemporary societal challenges.


By allowing participants to step into a story and another world (fantasy or historical) and also the character of someone whose perspective may be radically different from theirs, BNW frees people to engage with human rights questions from new angles, and facilitates empathy with others.  It does not impose solutions or a “correct” approach, but encourages creative responses. 

For more detail see the video below


















All forms of BNW revolve around a board game, although we strongly encourage participants to listen to or read the accompanying narrative first, introducing them to the world and characters they will discover. 


The game play itself is relatively simple, suitable for children from about the age of eight, right through to adults.  Anyone familiar with board-games like Monopoly, Game of Life, Cluedo, Mysteries of Old Peking etc should pick it especially easily. 


There are two key strands to the game: Firstly, each player is allocated a character, and the objective is to maximise that character’s happiness, enabling them to live their best possible life.  However, just like in the real world, individuals gain fulfilment and satisfaction from different things.  Secondly, the players may find themselves making laws, adjudicating on the meaning of laws, or instigating revolution if they feel that the legal regime is unjust.

The idea is that after playing the game, participants will engage in some form of reflection and discussion on their experience.  The format and nature of this depend on the version of BNW being played, and the aims and needs of the participants (see below: What Versions of the Game Are Available? and What Are the Applications of the Game?)   There are resources available to help with each of the applications.



There are multiple forms of the game, and more in development.  Check out our website to see which is most appealing for you and your organisation.

 All of the applications are possible with all of the versions, although as explained on the pages for each game, some formats lend themselves particularly to different groups.



Schools and Colleges: Law, Politics, Constitutions, Equality and Human Rights


The game can be used as the basis for exploring legal systems, particularly in relation to Constitutional frameworks and the distribution of powers.  Resources are available to help with this from primary to undergraduate level, including background on the underlying political and legal theories.


Schools and Colleges: History-Religious and Political Conflict in the 17th century


Both Pilgrim and Pirate have applications in the context of history, particularly in terms of understanding the motivation and perspective of individuals caught up in religious conflicts which can seem difficult for contemporary audiences to understand.  Accompanying material and resources are available from primary to undergraduate level.


Workplace: Equality and Diversity Workshops and Team-building


BNW is NOT intended as a vehicle for DOING Equality and Diversity in terms of equipping individuals or teams to understand current legal requirements and best practice.


 However, it does provide a different approach to introducing such sessions.  In many contexts, Equality and Diversity training may be met with indifference or even antagonism, as it is perceived as a box-ticking exercise or as the imposition of requirements which hamper rather than enhance the efficiency of the organisation.


BNW can help to encourage a different perspective, as it not only encourages participants to exercise empathy, it also highlights the ways in which exclusion or oppression of minorities has a negative impact on the collective experience and environment.   A community which does not benefit fully from the potential of all members, or within which resentment is festering, is inevitably going to be dysfunctional and under-performing. 


The game play also explores the distinction between short time and long term consequences, is a good vehicle for reflection on how self-interested strategies may have an immediate pay off, but ultimately come at very high cost.

Resources are available for facilitators using the game for this purpose with a group of adults in a professional or voluntary sector setting.

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