Is life like an RPG

RPG: "Like in real life"


The participants stand next to each other. Everyone receives a role card. In the next three minutes, the participants adjust to their roles inwardly. You can ask the team if something is not clear to you about the role. The game management announces that they will be asking a series of questions. After each question, all participants should consider whether they can answer the question with "yes" in their role - then take a step forward - or whether they have to answer "no" - then stop at this question. It is about a subjective assessment, which is more important than knowledge and factual correctness.

The game management now also takes on a moderating role. When moderating, it is important to keep asking the players why they took a step forward or why they stopped. Especially in large groups, not everyone can always be asked about every step, it would take too long. As a guide, an average of three people should be asked after each step. Up to the fourth step, all participants should have a turn and, when they speak for the first time, also say what role they play.



  • learn how racism and discrimination limit a person's development opportunities;
  • work out the unequal distribution of rights and opportunities (according to gender, origin, skin color, appearance, age, health, educational level ...) and their effects in life;
  • to put yourself in the shoes of the weak and the strong in society;
  • Make competition the topic.



  • Time: approx. 60 minutes
  • Participants: 6–16
  • Room: All participants must stand next to each other and be able to walk at least eight meters forward.
  • Material: A prepared role card for each participant.


Game questions

Can you...

  • take out a motor vehicle liability insurance?
  • spend a vacation in your home country?
  • Expect fair treatment from the police when trying to report a theft?
  • get a bank loan to renovate a rental apartment?
  • planning a family?
  • Get dental treatment when you want it?
  • feel safe on the street after dark?
  • Expect sympathy and support from your family?
  • plan five years in advance?
  • take out life insurance?
  • kiss your partner in the street?
  • become a member of the local tennis club?
  • vote at the next local election?
  • come to any disco without any problems?
  • ask your landlord for help if your neighbors keep making noise at night?
  • Freely choose your place of residence?
  • enroll your next child in the municipal kindergarten?
  • live your religion openly and without problems?
  • Assume that you or your children will not be discriminated against at school?
  • work as a freelance worker in youth / adult education?
  • Become the head of the Adult Education Association / the Education Department / this school?
  • can you afford to go to college?
  • ...



After the last question, all participants remain in their roles for the first part of the evaluation:

  • How did you feel in your role?
  • What is it like to be the first to get there? What is it like to always not get ahead?
  • What questions do you particularly remember?
  • Which questions did you make / not make progress on?


Before the second part of the evaluation, a short, quick movement game or a simple "shake out" gives the opportunity to get out of the roles again. The further evaluation can take place in a group of chairs in the plenum or in small groups. It is advisable to divide small groups according to whether the participants were more in front, in the middle, or at the very back.


Now let's compare the gaming experience with reality:

  1. How were you restricted in your actions in the respective roles?
  2. What did you learn about the living conditions from different groups in society? What was unclear to you? Why do people advance or not advance (importance of passport, skin color, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion and social status)?
  3. What possibilities do the different groups have to change their situation?
  4. What should change, what can we change


The team should document the results of the discussion on the wall newspaper.


Role cards

Note: These suggested roles are examples. Depending on the composition of the group, some or many of the roles have to be changed or replaced. It is important to prepare the game well and tailor both the roles and the questions to the seminar group and the seminar topic. The role cards can be downloaded here as a PDF file.

A computer specialist, Indian nationality, 24 years old, single.A 19 year old Turkish high school graduate with a Muslim background.
An 18-year-old German commercial student with good grades.A 20-year-old skilled worker, fixed-term employment contract (18 months), single, German.
A 20-year-old Telekom trainee will not be taken on after the training.The 28-year-old economically inactive Thai wife of a German bus driver.
A 19-year-old punk, works in the pub, single.A 40-year-old black German, teacher, 2 children.
A 32-year-old resident and unemployed tiler.A 23-year-old bank clerk, of Turkish origin, devout Muslim, single.
A 17-year-old trainee in communications electronics, single, gay.A 46-year-old Kurdish owner of a kebab shop.
A 17-year-old high school graduate, German, single, sits in a wheelchair.An 18-year-old Moroccan unskilled worker with a secondary school diploma, single.
A 75 year old pensioner.An 18-year-old German secondary school student with walking difficulties.
A 16-year-old German secondary school student from the country, structurally weak region, no training place yet.A 17 year old German high school student, rural region.
A 21 year old law student, Regensburg.A 21-year-old single mother, one child, lives on welfare.
A 22-year-old Albanian refugee, hiding because of the threat of deportation, now illegal in Germany, works in construction.A 16-year-old Togolese refugee, fled without parents, asylum seeker in Germany, lives in an asylum seekers home in the countryside.
A 19-year-old retail saleswoman trainee from Bavaria, engaged.A 40 year old Polish seasonal worker, married, family in Poland.



The activity calls to mind one's own experiences with restrictions on action and competition, but can also lead to the formulation of conditions for the legitimate exclusion of competition (e.g. of migrants on the labor market). Therefore, there should be plenty of time for the evaluation in order to be able to discuss different evaluations and their consequences.