“Flight of Pollen is not just about having fun, meeting challenges or even learning concepts, though it’s all that too. Playing the game is actually to engage in the vital process on which forest survival – and food crop production – ultimately depends.” Cushla McGaughey
When it came to researching Flight of Pollen we found some interesting gaps in the data.
Old, and no-longer-relevant, data was repeated in current books. New research concentrated on the industrialised honey bee. And cryptic statements were hard to source.
Cushla turned out to be an indominatible researcher, and she took to the Internet with zest.
Slowly, over time, a picture emerged of our biodiversity. We felt like our eyes were opened, and we began to see the world around us in a new light.
Helpfully this comes across in the game. Here’s what one test-player had to say, about the educational aspect of Flight of Pollen
Flight of Pollen Game review Steph teacher:
TARGET ON PLEDGEME (to print Flight of Pollen) $26,250
Here’s Steph talking about her year 5&6 students playing Flight of Pollen. Such fun!
Jil does a new video and shows off the new box for the Flight of Pollen Environmental board game. We see the lovely new box and hear from a number of early game testers about what they think of the game.
The Video features: JiL Hemming (Game designer)
Steph (Teacher), Mathew, Rayan, Helena & Krystal (South Auckland)
Malachi & Neo (Kapiti Coast)
Rakaia, Aston, Lochie, Finn & Ya’akov (New Plymouth)
View the New video on the Flight of Pollen page.
JiL Hemming, environmental game designer, talks about turning the science of pollination into the art of game play, for her new board game, Flight of Pollen, at Mahara Gallery. Waikanae 7th May 2017.
I was lucky enough to live in New Zealand, on Waiheke Island, where I met so many wonderful people and made a friendship with Jil, who hosted me for a month (2015).
We were playing Flight of Pollen in the evenings, almost every day, often with friends. The game was at a very early stage, it didn’t even have a definite name.
It was fun for us to create rules based on the real behavior, characteristics and interactions of New Zealand flora and fauna.
This game is a very interesting way to get an insight into NZ wildlife and to understand why loving and respecting even small things like insects and flowers is so important.
Your unique part of the world has been portrayed with very fine and accurate illustrations.
Now that I am back to Milano I can’t imagine anything more beautiful to enjoy with friends, family and my 7 year old nephew (who is already a fan of “Cloak of Protection”).
In Flight of Pollen, are the things that I learnt in New Zealand and that make life on this world worth living: love, respect and contemplation of Nature.
Mario Pinzone. Milano. Italy.
Ya’akov, who is 9 years old, has tested Flight of Pollen twice. The first time (2 years ago) was when his family visited while I was on Waiheke Island. The 2nd time is this week!
Since it’s the school holidays, one morning we went to Peter’s house, and 5 of us played Flight of Pollen.
The first game took us 2 hours, we lost & the game won!
The second game took us about an hour. NIGHT won, that was me!
The game’s a thriller!
Last night my dad & I played JiL, and NIGHT won again, that was us!
His dad says “the game has come a long way, since Waiheke. Certainly more thrilling, but still true to itself.”
Flight of Pollen has been four years in the making. It grew from the honey bee (because I was working alongside a hive), to a DAY and NIGHT pollination game in the Aotearoa / New Zealand forest.
Cushla had done a whole lot of research, when Marine asked me if I’d do a house-sit, for them, on Waiheke Island.
No hesitation on that one! Cushla gave me a boxful of papers, plus a book of ideas, and I was off. . .
I’ve just finished reading a couple of compelling science books.
A WORLD WITHOUT Bees (The mysterious decline of the honeybee & what it means to us), tells how our species is beginning to walk dangerously out of step with the rest of nature.
It’s a common theme.
Reading Callum Robert’s Ocean of Life HOW OUR SEAS ARE CHANGING, I was as absorbed as when I first read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.
I don’t know how Callum makes this urgent need for the wholesale reversal of present trends of wildlife decline and environmental degradation, a testament to the human spirit – but he does!
David Suzuki calls it ‘an eloquent and authoritative call for change with a blueprint to guide us in salvaging the great oceans.’ Which it most definitely is.
I got it out from the Kapiti Coast library (aren’t libraries wonderful!)
Judges for the 2013 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books (it was short-listed) said: “Roberts sets modern conservation in context. For instance he has taken fisheries science and channelled it into the mainstream debate. This book is thrilling: a delightful mix of anecdote, research and polemic.”
Both books: great reads.
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. .
. . .more news as we go.