We are so excited to share with you this short video about the incredible game design workshop we ran recently. We hope it gives you some insight into the inspiring ideas that were shared that day, and the atmosphere of support and empathy that your donations made possible. We had about 50 attendees at the workshop, including 25 very brave and creative bereaved young people. No video could fully do justice to the feeling of the day itself - but we hope you watch this one anyway! It was honestly such a beautiful collaborative experience, with a great sense of solidarity between everyone there.

For the next phase of Apart of Me development we are focused on designing The Cave. This will be a magical place in the game where you can listen to, interact with, and at some point upload your own stories. Our workshop day began with Steve (our expert storyteller) setting the scene with an imaginative pondering of Caves as a narrative concept. Steve led a wonderful meditation on how humans have used caves for hundreds of thousands of years to record stories and come together.

Example cave art

After this Tiu led us on a short but poignant ritual to bring the spirit and memory of our loved ones into the space. We had a sacred space where people brought pictures of their loved ones to lay down along with an object to remember them by. Then the workshop teamed up into 3 groups. Each group took part in a series of immersive cave experiences where they could experience a novel way of interacting with stories. To give you a taster, one ‘cave’ was called Ali Baba’s cave. There was a treasure chest in the middle, and when the group were invited in, someone was asked to open the chest and choose one of the objects in the chest. The object was passed around whilst people were invited to use their imaginations and wonder what the story behind the object could have been. Then, a real story about the object (and the tragically departed person it represented) was played.

After a delicious lunch, each group went into storyboarding mode. This was a chance for everyone to offer their best ideas for the design of the game. Each group presented their ideas back and took part in a lively discussion and feedback session that got the whole workshop fired up. The day ended with a closing ritual led by Tiu. We all planted our roses down in the sacred space created by her ritual, and thanked our loved ones for bringing us together that day.

Tiu leads our welcome ritual

Once we’d collected all the data from the workshop activities, Ben and I spent a very exciting day at the esteemed Institute of Engineering and Technology, surrounded by images of people much cleverer than me (Turing, Edison, Faraday). We went through all the data and all of the fascinating impressions we got from our workshop attendees, and came up with a very exciting plan for Phase 2 which we can’t wait to tell you about soon.

Louis standing in front of the IET

In the meantime, we want to thank everyone for their generous support and for making this collaborative workshop possible. The most popular perk during our crowdfunding campaign was to ‘Sponsor A Young Person to Attend a Game Design Workshop’ and we are very confident that the day we hosted was one that our kind donors would have been very proud of.

Thank you also to Anomaly for trusting us with the most amazing venue and Enoteca Da Luca for keeping us fed. You each made something amazing happen.

Here are a couple of quotes from some of the young people who attended:

“This day was a big stepping stone on a journey of hope and inspiration. Lots of ideas were generated throughout the day and the sense of community really began to grow.”

- Tom

“This workshop brought me a sense of reassurance that I’m not alone in my grief and that a community is beginning to form. It gave us an insight into something that is going to help lots of people on their journey.”

- Grace

and from one our academic advisors:

“The workshop for Apart of Me was a wonderful day of fun, connection, openness and creativity. From the start, there was a lovely, warm, chatty atmosphere and the organisers and facilitators made every effort to create a safe space for any emotion, any suggestion and any experience. It was a jam-packed schedule of activities and group sessions, all of which were simple, interestingly set out and fun, and yet encouraged us to bring our imaginations, personal experiences and unique perspectives. It was really moving and powerful to be surrounded by people of all ages and backgrounds bound by the experience of losing a loved one, and to discover that though the details of our experiences differ, we are all navigating something similar. Grief can be a very lonely and isolating experience and this workshop was a lovely reminder that we are not alone in this. There was a feeling of togetherness, strength and community – and lots of hugs – and coming away I felt a strong sense of connectedness that has stayed with me.”

-Mórna O Connor, University of Nottingham

Last but not least, we are very aware that as we have been focusing on delivering this perk and creating a fantastic game design workshop, some of the other perks have not yet been delivered. So now we are on to our next creative mission! Thank you for being so patient, and thank you for giving us at Bounce Works the resources we need to help young people find a way through grief.

If you have any questions at all, just get in touch. We love to hear from our supporters!

Louis + the Bounce Works team x

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Without urgent support these young people are vulnerable. Let us use our expertise to help them through their darkest moments.