SAIIER 2018:Aurogames Research, Development and Implementation

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Unity Pavilion
SAIIER 2017-18 icon.jpg




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Developing and testing Auroville-based supplementary materials for standard curricula
Aurogames Research, Development and Implementation


by Paula Caesar


Introduction:

The main purpose of the project was to create activities to support an integral education. People came together and engaged in an activity, alone or cooperatively, in a focused and concentrated manner. Chit-chat, cell phones or other distractions were missing. This guided everyone to connect deep within and with another. The activities help to develop concentration, memory, attention, analytic skills, perseverance, patience, cooperation, imagination, creativity, visual and spatial perception, acuity, orientation, and flexibility.

Description of project:

People came to my house to engage with Aurogame activities once every week. The sessions were planned beforehand depending on previous experience with the materials. One session with 8 new people (5 adults and 3 kids) was set up as an experiment to test a new way of working with the materials and see if different conditions had an effect on ability in a difficult task in the future. Though the outcome was as predicted, it requires further testing with more people.

Currently I am developing a new game; it is challenging and one that creates visual dissonance. Based on feedback after sessions, I have made new cards and continue with more trials. This particular game has been helpful for people to: concentrate with intensity, develop memory, accept mistakes and learn from them.

Outcomes:

From January 2018 until the end of March 2018 I have had 14 game sessions with kids, teens and adults. I have conducted a workshop over three mornings for kids (“Paint and Create”), recorded, edited and posted 18 videos onto YouTube, showing snippets of people engaged in the games. I also recorded an 8 part video series – “The Evolution of an Aurogame”. In this series I share a short history of Auroculture, who originally created the games, as well as the original box she created and how it has evolved into many different activities.



Reflections:

During the past 3 months it has been a joy to witness kids, teens and adults deeply immersed in an activity. There have been moments with many distractions like barking of dogs, construction or other noises, yet the focus remained. As I record parts of the sessions, it amazes me to see the intense concentration, cooperation, synchronicity, and at times perseverance of all the participating people. Even when a number of people worked at the same table, they stay focused on their own progress in their own activity. There was no chatter.

I also learned that adults enjoy these activities and benefit from playing. I want to extend the activities and offer them to older adults to see if they may help maintain cognitive function and engagement.

My biggest challenge has been time and space. Except for the workshop that was offered at White Peacock, all of the sessions have taken place in my home. This limits the number of people that can participate in a session to 8-10. Also with my schedule and that of others, sessions normally happen on Saturday afternoon or Sunday.

I would really like to explore these games with more people.

Conclusion:

I want to continue to offer these games, develop new ones, and learn from sessions with people. Really being present and available for others – to support if necessary – allowed people to develop trust. It helps people to immerse into a game. One of the activities, “Paint and Create”, came into being after listening to feedback from a few children. When they arrived for the workshop they were so excited to actually paint their own game in colours of their choosing. They were awestruck to see that we (adults) had listened to them, took their feedback and manifested their idea!


See also