Insectival: meaning of or like an insect
Today, children in urban environments are curtailed in play by a lack of physical space, security and an absence of facilities. They tend therefore, to depend on technology and virtual media which further estranges them from their natural environments.
Keeping these issues in mind, Insectival, a life sized board game for children (6 yrs & above), is designed to encourage physical and social modes of play and to facilitate environmental education in a creative and interactive manner. It intends to introduce children to the small, wonderful world of insects and inspire in them the ability to value and preserve natural environments.
The aim of the game is to stay on board without getting eliminated. The last standing player on the board is the survivor and thus the winner of the game.
The game needs a minimum of 3 to 6 players. The game requires players to transform into different insects by meeting various challenges on the board using the dice. This transformation involves enacting the physical movements of the insect (e.g. the ants crawling) and demonstrating its behaviors (e.g. defense mechanisms, life processes etc). In the course of play, players transform into the different insects and acquire that specific insect’s powers. The hierarchy of powers determines the player’s game path.
Rationale: Through this game play, children get introduced to various factors that affect the survival of any given insect in the forest. An insect’s defense mechanisms, environment resources, interdependence and human interference- these nuances of the insect kingdom come alive.
The game comes as a pack of six sets of cards, for each of the six basic insects of particular vegetations. It also comes with a large dice and some accessories. The game is designed to be flexible with space (can be played indoors and outdoors) and order of arrangement within a few set guidelines. Hence, the tiles can be moved around to play differently. The current prototype of the game has been made in printed cotton fabric and foam. However, there can exist versions made from paper, jute, woven mats etc to be used according to convenience.
Insectival allows for children to create their own cards and add it to their game. This also has the potential of transforming into an augmented reality version or an online community for sharing play experiences and knowledge.