Germany and Turkey, each in their own way, are currently facing the challenge of integrating refugees into their societies. They both face the question of how to establish contact with refugees in an everyday situation. To find possible answers, a team of 24 junior “game developers” created game concepts as part of the Global Playgrounds project by Türkisch-Deutsche Jugendbrücke. After all, games are played everywhere in the world, often even across language barriers.
Deutsch-Türkische Jugendbrücke’s overall objective is to deepen relations between youngsters from both Germany and Turkey and to facilitate exchange. To this end, Jugendbrücke regularly creates projects in both countries. We were fortunate enough to be invited to co-create a part of the project series „Crossing the Bridge – Fostering Youth Mobility in Germany and Turkey“ – funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. “Global Playgrounds – Game Design on Migration and Integration“ took place in the remote village of Baitz in Brandenburg. Attended by a group of 12 Turkish and 11 German participants, the event was all about developing game prototypes on the topic of flight and integration and then testing them with different groups in Berlin.
It goes without saying that the beginning of this 5-day workshop was centred around team building and examining the topics of flight and integration. Three interpreters, whose regular job – accompanying German ministers on visits to Turkey – means they are used to a rather different work environment, proved to be a huge help among this international group.
Thanks to significant input and guidance from three professional game developers at Bilgi University Istanbul’s Center for Civil Society Studies there were six functioning prototypes at the end of the workshop, including card and board games. They were tested among various groups including refugees at the emergency shelter in Berlin-Tempelhof. It transpired that game rules can be explained without many words, using plenty of gesturing instead – a cause for much amusement during the test run.
The next step will be the production of some of the games and their delivery to all participants. The game prototypes can also soon be downloaded as pdf files on our website. What we’ve concluded from this process is that developing games isn’t as easy as it may seem, but it certainly works just as well when the team of developers is bi-national.
Facts + Figures
Youngsters (16-24) from Turkey and Germany
- Game development
- Bi-national exchange
- Discussing the integration of young refugees
Federal Foreign Office
Baitz (Brandenburg) and Berlin
German and Turkish
I am very proud of our game!
A perfect opportunity to learn more about Turkey and germany thourgh personal exchange!
The week was too short.
Methids = excellent! Dynamics = excellent!