“Backwards and Forwards” – South Australian Edition
Winners of the “Best Youth Team” award.
The team were looking through data sets before the competition and found that the ones that caught their attention were the historical ones. There seemed to be a lot about South Australia (which is where they live) but also for all of Australia.
People don’t know enough about the history of South Australia. The team found historical figures that you might not have heard of and also many facts that most people don’t know. For example the team hadn’t heard the story of Fanny Kate Boadicea Cocks (the first policewoman in South Australia) until doing research for the project.
The team built a board game designed to help people link local historical figures with intriguing life facts, all meshed together in a “race-to-the-end” type board game.
In the board game they use: historical figures, (people who have shaped our society), key events, and key locations. They feel they only really hit the tip of the iceberg of what the game could bring.
A game, like a website or an app, is a platform. In the prototype game, you choose one of four characters to play as. Each character comes with a set of question cards that have a fact about their life. When you roll the dice, you advance on the playing board. Some of the panels on the board have a little star on them, if you land on one of those, you draw a card from that character’s card pile.
Some of the facts are positive, for example in 1873, Kate Boadicea had a children’s hospital named after her. With a positive fact you then advance two spaces. A negative fact will send you backwards. There are a some facts that affect all players so everyone might move forward or backwards.
They thought that if you just played like this you wouldn’t really learn so the team decided that when you get close to the end of the board, you would have to correctly answer a question card to see if you’ve been paying attention to what was on the information cards. To win the game you have to know some of the history.
Lilli and Dale are 16 and Elly is 14.
Elly and Dale Bachmann are brother and sister. Dale was happy to be there and did whatever task needed to be done. Elly was instrumental in coming up with how the game worked and Lilli mostly did the visual design with review by Elly.
The team came up with the full idea on Friday so they could go to bed and get a good sleep. On Saturday morning the team had to attend lots of different sporting events and so couldn’t get back to the project until the afternoon.
Saturday was a bit of a later evening creating the board game. Lilli started collecting stock shots that would be used in the video.
Sunday morning, the team played the game so it could be recorded for the video. Lilli loves making videos and clearly has high standards as it looks great. Keeping the video to the required limit of three minutes was a challenge as they had so much more they wanted to show.
The challenge in making a board game rather than a website or an app, (as technology is such a part of every day life now), was making it useful.
The local library at Mount Gambier is really keen and has said if the team can finish the game they’d love to have it as a library resource.
Will they be back to GovHack next year? “Certainly will be.. watch out!”
Interview by Peter Marks for GovHack.