How To Challenge Stereotypes Through Murder Mysteries
Updated: Mar 27
Corporate parties and team building events need careful planning in order to achieve specific outcomes. Event planners often hone in on fun team-building activities, but neglect the importance of planning games that focus on breaking down stereotypes. Stereotypes are toxic in the workplace and are maintained by identifying our colleagues with a single narrative according to the role they play at work; the ‘boss’, the ‘accountant’, the ‘IT guy’.
A fun way to help break down these stereotypes is through a role play game called a Murder Mystery event.
A Murder Mystery provides people with the opportunity to chuck away their office personality and express a persona or character that they never get the opportunity to be in the work space. This results in increased awareness as individuals open new ways of understanding and seeing one another.
Event planners are commonly asked to set up team building activities to achieve outcomes like — critical thinking, cooperation, teamwork, leadership, creative thinking, communication, goal setting, decision making, problem solving, resilience, time management and building trust. Although these are important at a behavioral level — be careful not to neglect the important element of expanding awareness through breaking down existing single narrative dynamics.
A Murder Mystery needs planning and preparation and expert event planners are key to a successful event. It is a completely scripted game, where characters are assigned to individuals according to the chosen narrative where a murder is announced and needs to be solved by the participants. Each character receives scripts particular to their role prior to the event. Once the murder is announced they attempt to prove their own innocence and others' guilt — through ridiculous fabrications and deceitful clues.
Usually it is acted out over a meal, but it can just as easily be carried out without food. Depending on budget — a meal can be as simple or extravagant as you want — ranging from 5 courses to simple snacks.
There are many different themes for Murder Mystery scripts which can be set in different time periods and settings like the Wild West or being shipwrecked on an Island. It is most entertaining when the event and characters reflect the chosen theme as accurately as possible with costumes, décor and chosen venue.
No one will ever look at each other in the same way. As each persons’ role changes, so does the way they interact and engage. Let the games begin!
An expert event company can take all the hassle out of preparation and set-up by organizing all these important aspects for you — from costumes, wigs, décor, venue — all the way through to facilitating the actual play act according to the script. Step-by-step guidance is key to the success of a Murder Mystery event, you may need a good event team.
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