——–presentation at UNICEF HQ @2011.12.
working with UNICEF in progress
RePlayables is a system of play frameworks and templates for children and adolescents in disaster-relief zones and low-resource areas.
RePlayables makes use of play activities and simple games that enable individual play but encourage collaboration through group play. Focal to RePlayable’s objective is to engage older adolescents during times of disruption and transition by giving them tools to facilitate a more active role in their community. By offering activities with a range of difficulty and complexity and that are modular in nature, adolescents can be teachers and mediators to younger children in their communities. By becoming role models and mentors, child protection in chaotic situations can be increased.
RePlayables was created in association with UNICEF and NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program in New York by Alex Dodge, Eunyoung Kang, Becky Kazansky, Erica Newman, and Ju Yun Song.
Central to RePlayable’s objective is to engage adolescents and children during times of disruption and transition with structure that’s fun, comforting, and engaging. The idea is that through play and informal instruction, adolescents can serve as teachers and mentors to younger children in their communities. Replayables offers activities with a range of difficulty and complexity in order to engage a flexible age range and provide opportunities for learning. On the simple end of the spectrum are a series of reconfigurable puzzle pieces designed to promote discovery: the way they’re played with can be different every time. The math-based puzzles might require more skill to complete, but feature visual cues to guide the user.
Creating centers of engagement and activity provides safe environments for children and gives adolescents tools to be active agents in their community.
We designed RePlayables to be modular, easily deployable, replicable, gender neutral, scalable, sustainable, and light on text in order to accommodate linguistic variance. The activities and games could initially be deployed as an activity book, but the materials could also be printed on boxes or in local publications, or be made available as a pdf for download. While play is universal, certain activities and games may be more or less appropriate in different contexts. With an eye to that, the hope is that over time, materials can be made available in a way that allows for facilitators to tailor specifics to situational needs.
To bring RePlayables closer to deployment, we feel that further user testing is required. While our games, puzzles, activities have been effective for younger ages, we want to explore the adolescent segment further, keeping in mind that the skill ranges that correspond to particular ages are relative and region-specific, and adolescence is a relative term.
This testing could initially take place in NY. After this we could see how they work in different cultures as well. You can watch a video of our initial user testing here (http://vimeo.com/34625413) .