It’s the next game that’s taking all the creative space in my head at the moment.
It began last year as a bee game. For a year, I was working a couple of days a week alongside a live–observation hive. A game had to come from that!!
But then the game morphed, into a pollination game (bees, birds, moths, wind. . .)
It’s been on the dining room table & I’ve been playing myself round & round the board/table!
Now I’m waiting for the artist & the environmental scientist to add their input. It’s really exciting when exceptional people agree to assist.
The concept is strong, but it will need a lot of tweaking before it’s ready for testing. Some enviroschools won the right, last year, to test my next game (part of Game Week). Hopefully happening later this year!
I’m not sure if knowing – this time – so more about game design is a blessing or a distraction. But here we are. .
Mutton-birding (titi/sooty shearwater) season started April 1 and finishes end of May.
Rakiura (Stewart Island) Maori, from our deep south, have rights to gather muttonbirds on 36 islands – the Titi Islands – around Rakiura.
Last year a lack of small fish such as krill, for the birds to feed on, meant many chicks died in their holes.
But good follows bad and this years season is looking better. The birds now being caught are a good size and the majority are healthy.
In Cloak of Protection titi are hunted by Norway rat (when it gets onto their islands) and, of course, the human hunter.
On another note, got the best feedback about Cloak of Protection yesterday. One of my friends is teaching years 5&6 in Manurewa, Auckland. She said ‘we tried & we tried to study NZ’s wildlife & we got nowhere. Then we played the game & the kids knew everything – birds, predators, the lot!’
Walking down onto Waikanae Beach last evening, was looking skyward for the flock of black dots of titi (sooty shearwater) that have been around. . .
. . .when my attention was caught by a massive seagull. Well, that was my first thought until it unfurled long wings & folded them in again.
No seagull then!
I began tracking giant bird foot-prints toward the water’s edge. Webbed & as big as the palm of my hand. Dwarfing the dog-prints.
Closer – but, not too close – I found three birds distanced along water’s edge. They weren’t so keen on meeting me! One shuffled (on short-legs) into the water & landing a safe distance away, folded those giant wings into its body again.
So – here’s what I could see from my (short-sighted) distance. Pale curved petrel beak, white body, black back. Giant body on short legs.
Here’s a pic to toroa, who range throughout the NZ coast all year. Might have been???
Last year we had (what I thought was) a fabulous suggestion for a rule change.
I see that I never reported this, or the outcome.
Rachel Eckersley, enviroschools co-ordinator Taranaki, suggested the following change:
When a predator is ‘Pandor-ed’ (ie given to another player via a Pandora) then that predator is removed from the pack for the rest of the game.
So, as part of a reward for the schools that had exceptional input during Game week (Sept 2013), I asked students if they thought this should become a rule of the game.
The responses were (not all schools replied):
Dyer Street School “It was a close call but overall we voted for keeping the current rule. Interesting discussion though.” NO CHANGE
Marco School “We have discussed the change of rule and are unanimous with leave it alone. Because quote ‘we will run out of predators and takes away the fun of the game.’ NO CHANGE
We could say that Pukerua Bay School are already playing a version of this rule, so we’ll take that as a YES to the new rule
And from Enviroschools Wellington facilitator Gill Stewart YES & co-ordinator Karyn Burgess MAYBE YES
So I was never sure where that left us!? Feel free to try out the rule in a game & give me some feedback.
Home again & playing the game, last Saturday night with a bunch of primary-school teachers – I realized how much better the game has become since it first left my hands.
Partly it’s the Hundredth Monkey Principal.* But it’s more than that!
It’s as if Cloak of Protection has been played often enough, with real meaning, that it’s generated a life of its own!
ie the game now appears to have generated its own force-field! One which is due to all of you.
Scientists acknowledge that his can happen in a creative process.
Rupert Seldrake in his book A New Science of Life says “the creative process can be seen as a successive development of more complex and higher-level wholes, through previously separate things being connected together”.
I stand in awe & wonder.
*The Hundredth Monkey Principal was observed by Lyall Watson. After a group of monkeys on an island learned a new behaviour, suddenly other monkeys on other islands with no possible “normal” means of communication learnt that behaviour too. (Lifetide: The Biology of Consciousness)