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Over the past year, the Engagement Lab and the Egyptian United Nations Development Program (UNDP) have partnered on a new initiative focused on using games and play to tackle global issues, ranging from environmental sustainability to cultural and political empowerment.
This week, the lab is hosting UN staff and designers and entrepreneurs from Egypt for a week-long, intensive game development camp.
Every day this week, we will share a new blog post written by one of the game makers. Today, Basma Albanna shares her experiences during the second day of the development camp.
Tuesday, March 10th, a beautiful sunny morning for the second day of the Gamification camp.
We started off with a talk by Paul Mihailidis, Associate Director at Engagement Lab, titled “Global Media Literacy and Social Change,” in which we learned how media can encourage civic engagement and how it affects social change. We were introduced to a framework explaining media effectiveness having mobility, interactivity and spreadability as key factors. Another interesting aspect of the talk was the five attributes to media literacy.
Following Paul’s talk we headed to Harvard’s Berkman Center to attend an insightful workshop titled “Distributed and Digital Disaster Response” by Willow Brugh. A sweet gesture was that they served us falafel for lunch (originally an Egyptian dish) and it was so good that it can almost beat the best falafel back in our country!
Nobody said the day was over!! After that, we headed back to Emerson College for another dose of awesome advice by Meg Mcginley, a game designer atGames by Play Date, a podcaster on Brilliant Gameologist, and a tabletop roleplaying game creator. She provided insight for making meaningful mechanics out of live action elements such as conversation. She also told us all about her experience with game design, taking games to the market and game design killers to avoid.
After that we sat together with the Engagement Lab team to brainstorm ideas and to analyze various aspects of the violence against women problem in Egypt, as a first step in coming up with a game. By the end of the day we reached promising initial concepts and ideas related to gender roles and breaking stereotypes, which will help further our work during the remaining days of the camp.
Last, but not least, the awesome Engagement Lab team decided to treat us with a spectacular dinner at Jacob Wirth’s, a German restaurant that is also an historic landmark and only few blocks away from the lab .. this day could not have ended better.
Thank you Engagement Lab!