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The Conversations Everyone Wants to Avoid

Divididos, las conversaciones que todos quieren evitar (Divided, the conversations everyone wants to avoid) is a board game that facilitates conversations about controversial topics. Divididos, in Spanish, was designed with and for people from Latin America who live in the US. Our values and experiences shape our different opinions about topics such as euthanasia, abortion, and politics. When discussing these topics, disagreements, and conversations, might feel difficult and uncomfortable. Divididos aims to ease these tensions through the game, which uses a series of collages and dilemmas for players to co-create stories and potential outcomes about situations that can normally be quite polarizing.


The game’s purpose is not to change players’ opinions, but to allow players to better understand each others’ perspectives, explore why we think the way we do, and build something together with our differences. In designing Divididos, I combined visual ambiguity and flexible game mechanics to facilitate participation, encourage active listening, and embrace complexity to foster conversations about polarizing issues. For future stages of this project, the game is designed to be adaptive — to address various controversial topics relevant to other communities and contexts.

Valentina Sierra 



Jul. 2022 - Apr. 2023

Game Pieces

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The are two decks with dilemmas: La final and Un amistoso. The dilemmas present situations addressing issues that might be socially and politically controversial such as abortion, euthanasia, and same sex marriage. All the sotuations are based on real-life stories. Each dilemma ends with the question “What happens next?” this is the starting point for players to co-create the story. 

Two of the 22 dilemmas that are part of the game

Players take 10 collages each and take turns to continue the story adding one collage to the board at the time. Thee board includes some questions intended for players to reflect about their personal experiences and analyze the information provided or missing in the dilemma.


The role of the images in the collages is to help players to come up with

and visualize parts of the story. However, each collage had an ambiguous

nature that has the potential to evoke infinite interpretations.


As players put one collage next to the other, the borders create new images. This is to reinforce the idea that even when we have different opinions, we are still able to interact–have conversations–and create something together with our differences. 

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The process included different primary and secondary research methods such as a literature review (which resulted in an interactive terminology map), interviews with people from Latin America living in the U.S., and card sorting and game testing sessions. 

Interactive terminology map about Polarization, Conversations, and Morality

Prototypes, interviews, and card sorting and game testing sessions 

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