Our Cardboard Arcade at THINKcon2013 @Bangsar Village

We were invited by BansheeCreative to be a part of THINKcon 2013 at Bangsar Village over the weekend (17-18 Aug) and we totally had a blast! (Thank you Angelia!) The reason why we were invited was because we participated in the Global Day of Play 2012 in honor of 9-year-old Caine whose story of his cardboard arcade at his dad’s workshop, caught the attention of a film-maker who did a short film on him. The story went viral and soon hundreds of customers came to play at his arcade and he was on national news, the rest is history!

View the story here:

http://vimeo.com/49332249

We were inspired by Caine’s story and we organized “A Day of Play” at our community learning center. People actually made the effort to come and play with the cardboard games that the kids created! It was a great success with lots of happy smiling faces!

This year we got a chance to open our arcade to the public by being part of THINKcon -

It was an exciting opportunity for the kids to showcase their creativity with card boards again! The kids got to work on their projects at home with some help from older siblings or parents, but with their design ideas and games strategy intact. It involved the process of:

1. Brainstorming – coming up with game ideas and drawing them on paper.

2. Making – getting the cardboard materials and cutting them up with scissors and putting them together with paper tapes.

3. Testing – having friends play with the games and making further adjustments when necessary.

4. Improving – making last-minute touch-ups and enhancement before the actual day of play.
The kids’ ages ranged from 6-10 years old (including the youngest at 3 years old!) and judging from their work attitude and discipline, we give them full marks! Everyone was committed to their projects and worked hard at them. It always seems easier for parents to do things for their kids because they are faster and neater than those small hands, but that would defeat the purpose of the project, which is, to let children turn their imaginations into fun, playable games! This is how parents can help turn their imagination into reality:

1. Ask the child what he or she has in mind. Ask questions like: “What do you want to make?” And “How do you plan to make them?” Try to accommodate their ideas as much as possible. Do not try to change anything without consulting them first.

2. Have them prepare the materials by cutting and pasting. If the child is too young to cut, help him or her to do it. But always ask them if it was alright first!

3, As you help them with the construction together, constantly check with your child if it is done according to what they have in mind. Keep asking questions!

4. When it is all done, ask if they are happy with it, and if they wanted to make any more changes. You can make suggestions but allow them to make the final decisions.

It doesn’t matter if they project looks messy and non-professional. The important thing is that they are strong enough to be played with.

Some adults (and students) might be wondering: “Who would want to come and play these games made out of cardboard?” And the answer to that? Little kids would. Big kids too. And even parents and grandparents! It’s an arcade for all ages! And judging from all the happy smiley faces, and the number of tokens sold and prizes redeemed, the games were a success!

Yeap, well done kids! And well done parents! Another feel-good project successfully accomplished. You should be proud of yourselves :)

And congrats to the following winners:

Arian Soon – voted Best Design cardboard game!

Eu Fai Leong – voted Most Popular game stall!

Zhang En and Zhang Hui – Awarded the Most Enterprising stall keepers!

Congratulations to all of you!!!

The money collected from the sale of tokens will go to start a Kids’ Enterprise Fund! More exciting news will be coming your way!

Thank you to Edwin of THINKcon for having us. And thanks again to BanShee Creative for linking us up http://www.bansheecreative.com

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