When you think of BOARD GAMES first that comes to your mind is probably entertainment, friends and casual evenings. Well, this Training course was about giving you another perspective of board games in a Youth work – as an educational and inclusive tool.
RUL was a part of TC “Reinforcing Games as an Educational Tool for Social Change” which took place in Rustavi, Georgia from 4 to 11 of February, funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission and organized by EMOTiC – Training and Consulting. This training brought together 27 youth workers from Armenia Austria Croatia Estonia Georgia and Ukraine with the aim to support the development of a sense of belonging among youths, to enhance their social inclusion and empowerment through innovative instrument such as board games.
Project started with usual integration games and team-building excercises and then we moved onto project topic from Day 3. Firstly we got the opportunity to play some of the most popular boards games in a groups with mixed-nationalities members which gave us an inside of board games mechanics, logic and aims. At this point it was interesting to see the meaning of board games as a team-building tool. In my opinion, it is equally good method as some conventional and common ones, if not even better.
To boost our creativity, from that point, we got the chance to modify the principles and rules of this board games in any way we wanted. This way we got the first experience of creating a board game and how it works. Even though it’s meant to be fun – trust me, it’s not a funny task! Every member of a team has it’s own vision and it was clear from that point on that the hardest thing in creating a board game is combining visualisation of a game with mechanics (board game mathematics) and aims. That’s when you ask yourself – how will this game help our cause, be used in our target groups and what benefits will it eventually bring to the people we work with and our communities? This process was guided by our trainers, who had vast of experience on the topic and who gave us plenty of usefull tips on how to create a game, but also on how and when to use it with group of young people.
Before mentioned segments of this project served as a an introduction to our major task – to create an actual board game. Groups of 4-5 people were mixed internationally and we had to create a game that we will eventually be used in our target group as a method of social inclusion. Every group managed to create a game and that way I find this project very successful. Not only we got the knowledge of boards games, but now we also know how to create one and use it for specific aim of our target group(s). We intend to use this methods and skills as a tool for the involvement of young people in a society and I find board games to have a substantial educational and social value.
There was very positive and creative atmosphere within participants and along with many positive experiences and new connections, from this TC we acquired innovative approach and tools that will be implemented in our future work with Youth, especially in team-building and communication development segments.
Kristian, Razvojna udruga Ludbreg