Could not download file: This paper is available to authorised users only.


R. Joye, L. Crawley

Unversity College Dublin (IRELAND)
The aim of this paper is to describe the use of an experiential gaming tool ‘Bargna’ that is designed to challenge learners existing cultural perspectives. This simulation game is being utilized as part of a cultural awareness module delivered to undergraduate nursing/midwifery students. It is essential in a developing multicultural society such as Ireland that nurses and all those working in healthcare acknowledge and recognises difference in order to alleviate potential prejudice and discrimination. Cultural sensitivity involves being culturally aware of one’s biases, prejudices, and assumptions about individuals who are different (Campinha-Bacote, 2002).

Bargna is a pedagogical and experiential approach to learning that is facilitated through the process of active participation of the simulation game to promote cultural awareness. The game evokes a variety of emotions in players such as suspicion, confusion, success and feeling of control, and simultaneously sensitising the learners to their own vulnerability and helplessness. There is an atmosphere of self discovery of one's own value and belief system, emotions, frustrations, empathy, decision making and problem solving. The exercise requires the learner to tolerate differing realities, sometimes conflict, confusion and uncertainty; it demands an ability to elicit meaning. Following the game the facilitator assist the learners to reflect with each other on their attitudes, prejudices, racism and stereotypes and thus increase personal self-awareness and development of the concept of cultural awareness.

The theoretical framework for simulation specifies five possible outcomes of simulation experiences which include
(a) increased understanding,
(b) enhanced skill performance,
(c) greater learner satisfaction,
(d) development of critical thinking abilities, and
(e) increased student self-confidence (Jefferies 1997).

It is advocated by Koskinen et al. (2008) and Graham and Richardson (2008) that cross cultural simulation game has a long term influence on cultural awareness and influence the ability to provide culturally sensitive care.

[1] Campinha –Bacote J (2002) The Process of Cultural Competence in the Delivery of Healthcare services. A Model of Care. Journal of Transcultural Nursing 3(3) 181-184
[2] Graham, I and Richardson, E (2008) Experiential gaming to facilitate cultural awareness: its application for developing emotional caring. Learning in Health and Social Care 7 (1) 37-45.
[3] Hofstede, G J and Pedersen P(1999) Synthetic Cultures:Intercultural Learning Through Simulation Games. Simulation and Gaming 30 :415-440.
[4] Jeffries, F P (2007). Simulation in Nursing Education, National League for Nursing, New York.
[5] Koshinen, I., Abdelhanid, R., Likitalo, H., (2008) The simulation method for learning cultural awareness in nursing. Diversity in Health and Social Care.5: pp55-63.
[6] Lockhart JS and Resick LK (1997) Teaching cultural competence. The value of experiential learning and community resources. Nurse Educator. 22: pp27-31
[7] Thiagarajan, S and Steinwachs, B (1990) Barnga: a simulation game on cultural clashes. Yarmouth: Intercultural Press.