Serious games are a particularly beautiful form of interactive political education work, but they are also challenging to develop. Our first serious game, a card game on justice issues, took us months to develop. In the meantime, we have become more experienced and have developed a wide variety of games. It is always a question of finding the right format for the target group. One of the most exciting projects was the development of our first board game on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our target group: non-commissioned officers of the German Armed Forces.
However, our client was not the German Armed Forces themselves, but Engagement Global, which for its part runs workshops on the topic of development cooperation and the SDGs with German Armed Forces groups and was looking for an interactive and low-threshold method to bring their content closer to the non-commissioned officers.
One thing was clear from the outset: the aim was not to develop a classic text-based simulation game, but to pursue an even more playful and low-threshold approach. This was not an easy task, especially since the SDGs, with their 17 overall goals and 169 sub-goals, are anything but simple. Especially since the task was to convey a global perspective.
The result is a board game that can be played without a major introduction or a lot of reading. In terms of content, the complex world of the 17 SDGs, which relate to a wide range of political areas, had to be broken down to such an extent that the core message of sustainable development was retained, but could be experienced in less than two hours. These rather abstract ideas then also had to be implemented visually and creatively in such a way that allowed a functional and attractive game to emerge.
After countless internal and external tests and several rounds of design work, our first board game was ready. After the first runs with the actual target group, it became clear that the work had paid off. The game was very well received by the NCOs and has since been used regularly in Engagement Global workshops and beyond.