Mar 31, 2015

A Lye's Family Journey to Pay Their Last Respect to Lee Kuan Yew

The ladies of my family are fans of Mr Lee Kuan Yew. My sister wept the whole of the morning Mr Lee died and bought all the newspaper on the tribute for Mr Lee that day. Mum cried along with my sis and was depress for the next two days. My grandma was glued to Channel 8, gobbling every piece of information or tidbits about the life of Mr Lee till she became too tired to go on and fell asleep.

When the announcement for the dates and timing for the lying in state ceremony, my sis and I have made plans to visit Mr Lee's wake at the parliamentary house. However, the old folks seemed to be disinterested to go despite their interest in all the media reporting.

Mar 5, 2015

4 Reasons Why Asian Education Games are Not Fun

When Wongamania started it's financial literacy tour around the major universities in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, I encountered students who were expecting another boring "Education Game" session whereby they attend just to pick up ECA points. After playing the game, quite a couple of them approached me and congratulate me on designing a game that is "Shitloads more fun than Monopoly Deal". I was taken aback by their extremely low expectation on an education game and talked to quite a number of them. The students were telling me that they have been asked to play many educational "games", which are actually a textbook in the form of a quiz, and they were extremely skeptical when asked to play another education game.

I received similar reactions when I tried to invite students from Singapore universities to come try out the game. When the word, "Financial" and "Education" were mentioned, they quickly rejected the invitation. I have gotten the same reception from the board game community when I initially shared the idea of a "financial education" game with them. They were expecting to be bored to death.

Luckily, we managed to get positive responses so far.

As a game designer and an educator, I have to admit that many of the Asian education games are actually badly designed and extremely boring. What is the point of having an educational game when the people we are hoping to appeal to, will not even touch the game with a five-feet pole?

After talking to educators, game designers, gamers and trying out some of the educational games in the market, I have a pretty good idea what went wrong. Here are 4 reasons why I think Asian education games are not fun.
A Wefie after a session of Wongamania with the students
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