Expanding Minds and Narrowing Divides in India through Gamivism

Misha Myers
This paper was presented at the Videogame Cultures 6, Inter-disciplinary.net, Oxford University, 17-19 July 2014.The board game Bumper Crop was designed and its social impact tested as part ofthe Play to Grow project to explore what game design properties and mechanismsare most effective in promoting change-related agendas. Bumper Crop wasdesigned for both physical and digital platforms, to engage young urban adults incomplexities of rural development, agricultural practices and issues facing
more » ... and issues facing farmersin India. The project involved a partnership with Digital Green, a non-profit andcharitable organisation helping small and marginal farmers in both India and lowincomeAfrican countries to share best practices with their communities throughcreating and sharing videos. Combining real life content with serious play, BumperCrop was designed through a participatory and human-centred design approachwith field visits, dialogues and play tests with farmers working with Digital Greenin the region of Madhya Pradesh, and with young urban adults in Mumbai.Contrary to expectations, initial evaluation results revealed that the game's originalpurpose of generating empathy for farmers was not realised amongst the availablepool of samples. Surprisingly, however, it did serve as an effective tool for peer-to-peerlearning between farmers themselves, bringing the game back to DigitalGreen's core business of creating platforms for sharing of expert knowledge.
doi:10.4225/03/56e0d0d2d3c03 fatcat:4zzmagthwbblvkqyqox6ac75uy