This paper describes the use of a board game, Civil War, as a learning experience in the context of a course on critical theory. Civil War was created by the Educational Games Company of Lebanon and is set during the 1975–1990 Lebanese civil war. The game functions both as a pedagogical instrument, in that players learn about the situation in Lebanon while playing the game, but also as a form of critique, in that its makers are clearly using it as a means of articulating their lived experiences and challenging the dominant narratives around the conflict. We suggest that the game is a rare example of one that is counter ideological in nature, as rather than perpetuating stereotyped views of Middle East conflicts that are constructed and imposed from outside, it instead directly presents the experience of those who are inside. A case study of using the game in the context of a class on postcolonialism is presented and responses by students are analysed. We argue that the active experience of playing a board game is an effective way of engaging students with a topic, and in this case in particular, an effective way of connecting them with the lived experiences of others.
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