The Ugandan Village Boardgame Convention

by Ben Parkinson in Koro Road

We did it
On 30th April 2017 we successfully raised £3,125 with 143 supporters in 21 days

To promote the development of board games in rural villages in Uganda

by Ben Parkinson in Koro Road

Uganda - some new developments

Dear All

It's been a fairly frenetic few weeks and we've been discussing our future plans in new ways.  The fact of the matter is that, without our new boardgames arriving yet, we don't have enough material to put on Kampala Games Day and, while we are hopeful that everything will come right in the next few weeks, we have to plan for other options, when our container is still unresolved.  Essentially it has been cleared now, but we are being charged a very high duty cost - much different to what was originally quoted to us - so we have challenged the costing.  In Uganda, these things all take a lot of time and the delays are racking up storage costs.  It is a balance between paying the correct duty and reducing the storage costs and it may be that we cannot afford either route, with what has been allocated to this project right now.  We expect to have a fuller picture by the end of this week.

The good news is that we have been 7c9e4dfb95b2cfa45afc472a28f2e76df97815cediscussing amongst ourselves what is needed in the rural areas and together we have designed a new project, designed to build on the Village Boardgames Convention, known as GAMECHANGERS.  We are going to launch this project at the end of this week and we very much hope that some of those that supported the Convention will help us make this happen too.

More details will come soon, but the reality of it is that we want to set up a series of youth-run boardgames clubs in Gulu and Omoro Districts, provide them with training at our Centre in Koro and support them in developing their clubs over the next 6-12 months.  These clubs will be known as Gamechanger Clubs, with a view to encourage young boardgamers into community enterprise and development.

We are going to major on cooperative games, as we want to encourage the youth to collaborate, as part of this process.  However, we are also huge fans of competitive games, so there will also be a large dose of these too.  Embedding games into these remote rural communities is not a straightforward task, so we will be working on some new methodologies to improve the reception that board games receive.  Lastly, we want to involve younger children into games and implement some teaching sessions of playground and party games, which they can become involved in.

As per normal, we'd welcome any input into the project design and if you have any resources you think we might find useful for the project, then please let us know - it's not too late to get them across to us!

We are still boardgaming regularly here in Kampala and we have completed (albeit failed) the last Legend in Legends of Andor.  We are still waiting for a win at Molerats in Space and we consistently win on Normal for Forbidden Island.  The kids are now playing 7 Wonders on their own, without reference to me for rules and similarly Cosmic Encounter.  The Uganda Boardgame Pioneers have done a new podcast, which is in editing at the moment.  We played Lost Legends again to a successful conclusion - this is still a complicated game for the young boardgamers, but they love the theme and the artwork.  The drafting reminds them of 7 Wonders, of course.  Lastly, some of the kids are working on a project to turn local village legends and stories into boardgames or roleplaying adventures - watch this space!

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