Intolerance - Social Studies - Play

Learning Objective

Enemy Within is designed to make students aware of group psychology and dynamics, and to teach how it feels to be the victim of stereotyping and fear mongering. This game is structured to evoke strong emotional responses and to provoke group conflict. Students experience feelings of being “the other” and/or “the accuser” within the safe environment of the “magic circle” of the game. In order for students to better reflect on the group’s behavior, it is recommended that the game be played more than once and a debrief be conducted immediately after completing the games.

Basic Strategy

The object of Enemy Within is to eliminate the Enemy hiding amongst a group of Citizens. In a McCarthy-esque style, players accuse each other of being enemies and cause each other to disappear. Accused players use the Character cards to defend themselves. This game is played by the whole class and moderated by the teacher. Enemy Within is dark and fast-paced, designed to evoke strong personal emotional responses, and bring out personal biases in the group.

Detailed Teacher Instructions are included in the Enemy Within game materials below.

  1. Once the games are completed, have all the students return to their seats in the circle for a debrief.
  2. This is an opportunity for you to guide the students’ reflection and prepare them for research on the Salem Witch Trials.
  3. Guiding Questions (Adapt depending on how you may be approaching The Salem Witch Trials.)
      • To those that were eliminated immediately “during the night”- how did it feel to be removed so suddenly?
      • To those that were accused but escaped elimination (even if only for a few rounds) - how did it feel to be accused by your “neighbors”?
      • Did some characters (or some students) seem more likely to be the Enemy than others? Why?
      • How did it feel to not only be accused, but to see others voting for your removal?
      • What did it feel like to be “dead” and to see what was going on, but unable to do or say anything?
      • Think about the sense of community that developed during this game. How were you all able to come to a consensus, despite the short time you had to decide who the Enemy might be?
      • How did you feel about the community of players?
      • Did you begin to look for at your peers differently? How did you evaluate body language, defensive argument, or other factors to help you reach a decision?

  4. After the students have debriefed their experiences with the game, transition into the lesson. Ask the following questions:
    • Has anyone heard of the advertising campaign that uses the sentence: “If you see something, say something”?
    • (If not, explain the United States Homeland Security’s new campaign. Then ask students:) What exactly are we supposed to be looking for? And what are we supposed to say? To whom?
    • What are we in fear of? Is there an “enemy” among us? If so, who or what?