In Uganda, one of the most common modes of conveyance is the motorcycle taxi, known as the "boda-bodas"; It is common to see two--or more--people speeding through town and zipping past heavy traffic on a boda bodas at once. Although convenient, boda-bodas are notoriously unsafe. Between 2015-2017, 7,000 people died in Uganda from boda-boda-related accidents (Kato, Monitor, 2018).
In 2014, the Red Cross in Uganda began offering boda-bodas drivers courses in motorcycle maintenance and first aid. These courses reinforced important safety habits--such as maintaining motor bikes and driving safely--and trained drivers in how to be first-responders if they were involved in or witness to an accident. Riders who passed the course were awarded special jackets that they could wear on their routes, signifying they were trained and certified. The Boda-Boda game was originally designed by Emerson College undergraduates in a Games for Social Change course then further incubated through the Lab and finally on site in Uganda. The game reinforces the basic tenets of the Red Cross training, focusing on the dangers of sharing credentials with riders who have not been certified and the extraordinary impact that this team of certified first-responders can have on people's daily lives if they trust each other and work together.
The game was used in a Red Cross training in Uganda of over 60 drivers. These drivers benefitted from an experiential approach to teaching driver safety, inspiring the Red Cross to produce similar interactive exercises.