OL Gräver
På Campus

Divide et Impera

Diana Cristina Culincu -

Méline Parent -

Hey, hey, adventurer! Yes, you! Welcome to the magical land of Osqledaren. It’s time to pick your team! Red team or blue team? Which one do you want to be a part of? Red team or blue team? Are you with us, or against us? You need to pick a side! Now! Press X to Start.

If you’ve ever played a video game, you probably already noticed a pattern: create a new character, pick a class, battle against the other classes and fantastic beasts, rinse & repeat. This behavior has a name: the eternal crusade, and it is a recurring and problematic theme in game plots, based on real-life narratives. Pick a side.

We complain about our society, but we keep on mimicking its same patterns. Our entire creations are stamped with these patterns. Everything needs to be an us vs them. We need winners and losers. Subjective good and objective bad. Why can't we all get along? What's stopping us from working together towards the same goal?

For a culture priding itself on inclusivity and tolerance, we are very vigilant in separating ourselves into carefully curated factions and classes, don’t you think?

There are many factors at play in this complex and multi-layered issue. From a historical point of view, it is widely believed that early human societies, such as those of Homo erectus and Homo sapiens, were likely organized into simple division of labor groups. Different individuals would take on different tasks based on their strengths, abilities, and roles within the community. For example, some individuals may have been tasked with gathering food, while others may have been responsible for making tools or caring for the young. This division of labor allowed early human societies to be more efficient and productive, and allowed individuals to specialize in tasks they were best suited for, leading to the development of more complex societies over time. This societal division of labor helped us lay the crucial cornerstones of civilization as we know it today.

However, subdivision has not always been beneficial. Take, for example, the most famous Roman military strategy - attributed to general Julius Caesar. Known as "Divide et Impera" in Latin (or “Divide and conquer” in English), this cunning strategy relied on dividing enemies and opponents into smaller groups in order to conquer them more effectively. Caesar also employed this strategy in his political dealings, isolating his enemies and winning over allies to increase his power and influence. In conclusion, division can also lead to losing sight of the bigger picture and making one more susceptible to manipulation.

If not driven by survival instinct like our ancestors, or the will to win a war and gain power, why do people still enjoy enclosing themselves in labeled boxes? The reasons range from self-preservation to affirming identity and belonging:

“Choose your faction”. People form groups to define and strengthen their identity. Being part of a group gives individuals a sense of belonging and purpose, and it helps them to differentiate themselves from others. This is particularly important for people who feel that their individual identities are not strong enough on their own.

“This is your destiny!”. People also divide themselves into opposing groups as a way of confirming their own beliefs and attitudes, like a confirmation bias. By being part of a group that shares their beliefs, individuals can reinforce their own views and feel more confident in them.

“Your class has a 10% debuff bonus!” People tend to feel safer when they are part of a group. This is because being part of a group provides a sense of security and protection, and it makes individuals feel less vulnerable to threats from outside the group. Safety in numbers.

“Congratulations! You have a new skill point to spend.” People also form groups as a way of comparing themselves to others. By being part of a group, individuals can assess their status and compare their abilities, attitudes, and beliefs to those of others. This helps us to determine where we stand in comparison to others and to make judgments about our own worth.

"Join my team and let's conquer the competition." People often divide themselves into opposing groups as a way of creating a clear "us vs. them" distinction. This helps to solidify group boundaries and to emphasize differences between the group and those who are not part of it. But there is a critical issue arising from this: segregation.

When people are separated from one another based on differences such as race, ethnicity, religion, social and financial status, or nationality, it can lead to misunderstandings, mistrust, stereotypes, racism, sexism and hatred. Furthermore, segregation can lead to inequitable treatment and unequal distribution of resources, which creates a sense of injustice and frustration among members of marginalized groups. This can result in feelings of resentment and animosity towards those who are seen as benefiting from the system of segregation.

"All players unite.” What is the antidote for segregation? Cooperative gameplay and social hubs are excellent solutions to combat ignorance born out of division and help individuals find strength in diversity. In the coming month, I challenge you to leave all expectations at home whenever you are engaged in a new conversation. Approach all dialogues with open-mindedness and empathy, without expecting an outcome beforehand or judging books by their covers. Engage in diverse communities. Take action against a bias or stereotype you encounter in your daily life. Notice the difference in vision this brings into your life. Underneath all the patches we adorn ourselves with, we are all the same, even if we all see life through different lenses.
With the final boss defeated and peace restored to the kingdom, the heroes of the story bask in their hard-earned victory. As they look back on their journey, they reflect on the challenges they faced and the bonds they formed along the way. Despite their diverse backgrounds and personalities, they learned to work together as a team and emerged victorious.

Now, they set their sights on new adventures and continue to grow stronger, ready to face any obstacles that come their way. Together. "Quest complete.”

Publicerad: 2023-05-08

Ansvarig utgivare: Raquel Frescia
© 2008 - 2024 Osqledaren.