In December 2020, our Game of Gdansk IT expert Tomasz Fedak carried out online workshop for the seniors of the Academy of Third Age at the Gdańsk University of Technology. The event was made possible thanks to Anna Grabowska who saw that the game for school students can be beneficial for older adults.
The Baltic Sea Cultural Centre: How did you find out about the Game of Gdansk?
Anna Grabowska, Academy of Third Age at GUoT: I have cooperated with the BSCC before. Our relationship started when Gdańsk was compteting to become the European Capital of Culture. I learned about sightseeing with use of a game back at the UEFA EURO 2012. Recently, I've been working on creating a game based at the Gdańsk University of Technology. I found Game of Gdansk very interesting, so we all decided to give it a try.
Game of Gdansk is mostly dedicated to school students. What value did the webinar bring to your group of seniors?
It was an introduction which showed if such a game can work for this particular age group. It turned out it can. A few people "clicked" and said they know what it's about, some of them - that they would need further guidance in it. Creating your own game is a whole new challenge when it comes to programming. But a challenge that can be taken up since "my" seniors already have the experience in gaming (we participated in creating a city game).
What makes a class interesting for older adults?
Seniors are an extremely demanding group. They are mature and experienced people, both in their professional and private life. They know what they want and what surely don't want and won't do. Every action must be agreed on in advance. If I dare to do something against them, I automatically lose them. The Game of Gdansk class was surprisingly appealing to them. A few of them showed interest to try it out straight after the workshop. And believe me, it is something!
How did your group manage with the technological requirements caused by the pandemic? How do you carry out classes on Zoom?
Funnily, it is better than offline! So far the participants liked to chat during class and now it is simply impossible. We make sure only one person is speaking at once so there is no interrupting (laughs)! But seriously, Zoom wasn't difficult to learn. I work with computers all my professional life. Sometimes it was necessary to give some seniors an individual guidance, but our relationship is special. Some of them are with me from the beginning of the Academy, that is several years! I know that each minute dedicated to them is worth it.
Game of Gdansk is a city game carried out as part of Urb Cultural Planning. The game's website is in Polish and English.
The workshop was also carried out online for the BSCC viewers (in Polish language only):