Blogging for and about Youth Work and Young People

Posts tagged ‘social games’

Developing Apps for Charity and Youth Work

I’m intrigued by the possibility of developing apps for working with young people through supporting, advising and educating them in all aspects of personal development. Recently I came across iHobo from Depaul, a youth homelessness charity. The free app is designed to challenge perceptions around homelessness and is the work of charity Depaul UK and advertising agency Publicis London. The Charity  identified that it needs to attract new donors to support it’s work, and promote itself to a younger audience, hence the app. According to Depaul:

“A young homeless person lives on your iPhone for three days. Take care of him, or his life could spiral out of control. You’ll need to be there for him, day and night, providing food, money, warmth and support. He’ll alert you when he gets into trouble or needs your help, and the speed of your response could be the difference between him making it through in one piece, or becoming addicted to drugs. Can you keep him on the straight and narrow?”

I haven’t downloaded the app yet to see it in action however I really like the way in which Depaul have identified where it needs to develop. They’re using a range of social media tools to do this, including youtube and mobile technology. Information available states that the app is designed to make you pay attention, and think about how you can make a difference. It uses Apple’s latest “Push Notification” technology to send alerts to you when iHobo needs help. With live interactive footage it is trying to make this  virtual experience as real as possible. In all sorts of ways it is reaching its target audience through the very medium that they are using daily. How many of us are doing that in our youth work, or childrens services? What sort of things could we do with this if we put our minds to it? Not being technical minded I’m not sure how it all works however I’m sure that there can and will be more public service apps in the future.

iHobo is free to download so why not have a look and give it a try? Let me know your thoughts!

Advertisements

Disarming Britain

The other interesting item I picked up on recently was about the Disarming Britain series on Channel 4.  Mike Amos Sipmson has blogged about the tv programmes here and comments on “how much responsibility the popular media should take for glamourising gangs and street violence. How much of the fear that apparently drives some young people to carry weapons is actually rooted in the image of young people painted by the media, and how much do programmes like these improve matters or do they actually make them worse?”

The reason however that Disarming Britain popped up in my inbox was through a social issues games list that highlighted the game, Dead Ends that had been developed to run alongside the programmes. Reid Bryant Kimball writes about it in his blog here and offers some interesting ways in which the game could be developed, although I agree with the comment that Aaron Hung makes that it possibly should be more about the reasons why young people join violent gangs rather than why young people die in gang violence.

What I find really fascinating though is all the thought that has gone into trying to have a dialogue and involve everyone in the conversation. There is space to upload video, talk on facebook and bebo, blog comments etc. It is quite an integrated site (from my amateurs perspective!) for using the technology available although I am left wondering how Channel 4 are intending (or not) to take forward the issues raised. What will they do with the information and how / can this have an impact in a wider sense on developing support and understanding of knive crime? However what a great resource for youth workers looking for more facts, information and ways in which to raise and discuss the issues with young people.

Games for Social Issues

Recently I’ve somehow come across and signed up to a social issues games list serve through Games for Change . I like the idea of various games that tackle social issues and wonder how we might use these on our youth work? For instance there is this game Budget Hero which  helps players to learn about the US Federal Budget by balancing values and money. Something like this would be great to support the work that we do with the Youth Opportunity Fund and our Locality Youth Forums comprised of young people who are responsible for making grants to other young people. screenshot Has anyone come across anything like this in the UK? The only site I really know of is DemGames which aims to show some of the democratic decision making process. Any other ideas or thoughts?

(And another first – I’ve just learnt how to do my first screenshot….been dying to work that one out for ages!!!)

Tag Cloud