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Designing a multi-language cross-culture educational board game

3 replies [Last post]
Joined: 06/23/2009

For my job at work, I'm thinking of designing a board-game that can be used by secondary students in a range of Pacific and Asian countries as an educational resource celebrating diversity. I'm a first-time game designer (though as a hobby for many years I've been a miniatures wargamer). I'm interested to see if anyone has any thoughts around such a game?

- The aim is to encourage young people to understand and respect other cultures and religions, thereby helping to bridge the divides between communities and societies around the region.

- It will look at eight themes: life celebrations and rituals; design of homes, other buildings and public spaces; consumption of food and drink; clothing; methods of transportation and travel; pastimes; and the stye of arts and artefacts.

- It would have to be simple enough that the school could download and print-out all the resources (board, cards etc), as it is likely to be distributed on the web rather than in hardcopy. However, it is not going to be a web-based game, but a board game.

- It must have only simple language, as it may have to be translated into quite a few languages.

- As it is for secondary schools, it needs to be a bit more than just snakes and ladders!

A tall order, I think?!


truekid games
truekid games's picture
Joined: 10/29/2008
That is certainly a lot to

That is certainly a lot to try and get into one game :)

Did you have a particular starting point in mind?

SiddGames's picture
Joined: 08/02/2008
Set Collection

I'm thinking set collection. Each card would have two attritubes - one of the eight categories you mentioned, and of course a cultural/national/ethnic/regional "suit" as it were. Players could score points for sets (3 Maori cards or 4 Pastimes cards) or majorities (most Malay cards, most Art cards).

Also, maybe role cards. Randomly deal each player a role card that gives them a secret bonus.

* Ambassador - score 1 bonus point for each different culture you score points in.
* Collector - score 1 bonus point for each Art card.
* Leader - score bonus points for cards matching your culture.

As for how the set collection occurs... dunno :) As an educational/student game, I would think a high degree of interaction would be ideal. Perhaps a trading game. Each round, players are dealt some additional cards, then there is a round of card trading?

Joined: 06/23/2009
That's an interesting idea,

That's an interesting idea, SiddGames. I like the concept.

The game is supposed to be one that supports a classroom learning programme about diversity. I had imagined that it would be played as individuals players in small groups (possibly rewarding collaboration between players), but your idea expands to a maybe a whole class moving round the room and trading, which is something I hadn't thought of.

I presume a game like this wouldn't need a board. You would just have cards (8 x number of countries) plus a number of the role cards? Give the kids a small number of cards to start with, then get them walking round the room trading, but every now and then deal out extra cards to them? Then have a final tally-up at the end?

Great thing about this is that it would be easy to disseminate to out-of-the-way schools in different countries as a black-line master they could copy and cut out, then use. Could even have spaces so they make up their own graphics to go on each card.

I like it!

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