Game On: Game Wang


An innovative multi-faceted project in Wangaratta is being used to build social connection in young people.

Last year, the Uniting Care Goulburn North East team identified that there was a need for greater connection with youth in the Wangaratta, Albury and Wodonga region. Recognising that isolation and a lack of social opportunities were leaving their kids vulnerable to depression, addictive behaviors and general societal disconnection, the group decided to act.

Launching the myrollercoaster ( website last year, Uniting Care Goulburn North East has created a portal for youth to connect with each other. Young people can upload their art and writing, and can have a say on any topic discussed in a forum. As an addition to the site young people can also talk to Uniting Care counselors online instead of having to attend face-to-face meetings, the move toward providing access to counseling services online is seen as an opportunity to reach more people in a geographically isolated region.

In addition to the website, Uniting Care Goulburn North East have formed a partnership with RMIT University’s Centre for Game Design Research in a research project that will produce a series of activities to encourage social connection through games.

The game jam event, Game Wang, is about exploring Wangaratta from the perspective of local young people. The idea of a game jam is to work with others, sharing ideas and skills in order to make simple electronic games in a short period of time.

Launching next week on the website will be a series of games activities aimed at young people between the ages of 13 – 17 years. Online activities have been designed to encourage new skill development; knowledge sharing and social connection but aren’t essential to attending the game jam.

At the game jam, participants will get the opportunity to work in teams to build mini-prototypes of games which will later be uploaded to the website. The game jam will be held in Wangaratta on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September between 10am – 3pm. Young people interested in being part of this interactive workshop must register via the website and provide parent/guardian consent.

The strength of the project lies in its aim to build civic participation of young people using a combination of good research, collaboration, ICTs, group activities and more.  


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