Liputan6.com – That afternoon, Irfan Amalee, Taufik Nurhidayatulloh, Arijal Hadiyan, and Linda Sumpena sat facing each other while holding several cards that looked like playing cards. Then they opened the card sheet by sheet which was placed on the table. However, it appeared there were special rules when it came to playing this card game.
Yes, this is one of the activities of the board game for peace that was initiated by Peace Generation. Liputan6.com had the opportunity to see how Peace Generation played the Galaxy Obscurio. The game was done in groups by using the board as the media.
Galaxy Obscurio tells the story of five extraterrestrials who live on six planets: Moyo, Rinca, Selio, Battoa, Weda and Rimunja. That day, Irfan and his friends used cards like playing cards consisting of 46 main cards, 33 alien cards, seven visco asteroid viruses, and six crystal cards.
Since last October 2017, the non-profit organization that campaigns for peace, founded by Irfan with Eric Lincoln, a Christian from America, has held a board game for peace program to spread peace through games. The targets are young people who are considered to be infected with the radicalism virus.
“Because they often become the target of radicalism group recruitment. However, as a precaution, we want to spread the method to others with an attractive and fast spreading tool, ”said Irfan.
According to Irfan, the concept of the Galaxy Obscurio game was initiated for the needs of today’s children who do not like to be taught in an explicit form.
“This galaxy was made because we wanted to teach children to be aware of conflicts. This conflict occurred because there was collaboration in it. Meanwhile, the virus is one that created that conflict. At that time, we thought of using the symbol of Indonesian society because if it was too explicit, we were afraid of being stigmatized. Finally, we use the Galaxy Obscurio, “said Irfan.
Meanwhile, board games are not sold to the public. However, Peace Generation is open to anyone who wants to get this game with several conditions.
“We opened board game scholarships several times, so anyone who wants to use a board game can submit a proposal, but with a clear activity plan,” he said.
Through this six-month program, Peace Generation has succeeded in raising awareness of 358 youths in five cities, namely Bandung, Solo, Surabaya, Padang and Makassar regarding the issue of extreme violence.
In addition, the game has encouraged those who are actively involved in the effort to spread the values of peace to 2,881 people. This means that everyone who joins the program has distributed it to at least 10 other people.
“This program has also changed the perceptions of high school students and college students about the phenomenon of extreme violence. For example, participants who disagreed with the statement “extreme violence, terrorism and radicalism were intentionally created by the state and the issue was deliberately exaggerated” increased from 53 percent to 81 percent, “said Irfan.
He recounted that when there was an experience of changing perceptions by a pesantren teacher in Solo, named Ninin Karlina. One of the students who initially considered all types of cards to be haram because of tasyabuh or resembling the products of an infidel, turned to like the board game because it contained the values of cooperation which were in line with the values of ukhuwah Islamiyah.
Irfan added, as part of the program to strengthen peaceful religious values, this program also involves non-Muslim participants and presents a perspective of peaceful values from other religions. Thus, the participants have firsthand experience of diversity which can prevent narrow religious understanding.
Since 2007, Irfan and Lincoln have started the Peace Generation. During the previous 12 years, Irfan’s activity was in the field of children’s books. However, since their meeting with Lincoln, the two have started to write educational modules consisting of 12 series of Basic Value of Peace books.
These modules were then trained to more than two thousand teachers and taught to 30 thousand students in various cities in Indonesia. In fact, the modules have been translated into English and applied in the Philippines, Malaysia, Australia and America. The goal is none other than to sow the seeds of peace in young people.
“Everything including the board game starts from the 12 peace values module. In every training we degree is taught these 12 values. The main focus is preventing radicalism, ”said the 41-year-old man.
Since focusing on his field, the man who graduated from a master’s degree in peace studies at Boston Brandeis University, United States, has learned many things. Including, the question of the origin of radical groups.
“Most radical groups have a bad self-image, they are asocial, full of prejudice, cannot accept differences and cannot resolve personal conflicts,” said Irfan.
Therefore, the values of peace must be disseminated with the aim of providing understanding and fostering a peaceful attitude among human beings.
“We do this as if we want to give immunizations. When someone is exposed to the idea of radicalism that is attractive and looks right, at least he knows the values of this peace, ”he said.
Instead of campaigning through lectures or talk shows, Irfan said that an effective campaign is an approach with easily recognizable tools and attracts attention, especially for young people.
“What must be noted is that we do not deal with radicalism because it is the same business as children so they are not exposed to this understanding. However, more towards prevention. Even so, we are still open to working with institutions that are experts in dealing with radicalism, “he said.
The plan, this year the Peace Generation will return to provide training to students and university students. He also targeted the number of peace message spreaders more than before.
“This year we will hold titles in 12 cities in July. We are still selecting cities with a target of 600 people to be trained with a range of 6,000 people, “he said.