The Last Straw! is a teaching tool on the social determinants of health. The game has three objectives:
- to promote discussion about the social determinants of health;
- to help players build empathy with marginalized people and gain an awareness of players' own social location;
- to encourage learning in a fun and supportive environment.
In keeping with current research on the social determinants of health, socioeconomic status is a primary determinant of health in this game, as are race, gender, sexual orientation and other factors.
Feedback consistently demonstrates that players gain a better understanding of the social determinants of health and the interplay between forces at individual and community levels. Both players and facilitators ("Game Masters") report having a great time playing the game.
There is also a training manual and video to help Game Masters get the most out of the game. See the website for more information.