A new app for iOS and Android lets you experience a small slice of what it's like in Australia as an Indian student, a Muslim woman or an Aboriginal man.
Not all discrimination is blatant. Sometimes it's an accumulation of smaller, subtler interactions that can make you feel as though you are fighting a losing battle. These are known as microaggressions and, although they may not seem like much to the people who deal them out, they continue to perpetuate harmful attitudes that marginalise minorities.
Microaggressions are the focus of a new mobile "game" developed by All Together Now, a collaboration between the University of Western Sydney, Deakin University and Melbourne University. It's called Everyday Racism, and it lets you experience just a small fraction of life as a racial minority in Australia.
It plays out a little like an alternate reality game. When you load it up for the first time, you are asked to choose one of three characters, each of whom was created based on real-life experiences. Muslim woman Aisha was created with the help of Zubeda Raihman, Mariam Veiszadeth and Aisha Jabeen; Aboriginal man Patrick was created with the help of Blake Tatafu, Adam Hansen, Nat Heath and Peter Dawson; and Indian student Vihann was created with the help of Rahul Dhawan, Mridula Amin and Tanvi Bedi.
When you choose your character, you will experience four scenarios randomly spaced out every day for seven days. These include radio broadcasts, work emails, social network interactions, text messages and videos. You can then choose how to react to each of these scenarios, whether it's a co-worker telling you that things are done differently in Australia, a racist Tweet from a friend or a remark on a website comment section. Your choices, however, are limited: two scripted responses, or no response.
You can also play as yourself, where you will witness racism and how it affects the people around you.
It's an interesting idea and one, we hope, that will help effect positive change in the way people view and respect one another.