Rachel loved stories about wildlife from a young age, but it wasn't until she started playing some video games where you play as creatures or help wild creatures that she really started to become obsessed with all things wild.
Outcome Creating bird (and insect) friendly habitats in the garden.
This outcome arises from the following 6 milestones over the span of 6 years, from 6 - 12 years-old:
Age: 6-years-old / 01/01/2016 / 7 years ago
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Rachel enjoyed the idea of starting as the smallest of creatures, the flea in the game Fe, but slowly gaining more powers by getting to know all the other animals. She was particularly taken with how you would sing to the creatures you meet to understand them and gain new abilities. This led to her watching wildlife documentaries, but not so much for the information they offered but because she could hear and try and replicate the animal sounds.
Activities: Rachel found that the following related activities worked alongside playing Fe:
Play Styles: Child Watching Game (Onlooker Play) and Child Helps Parent Play (Associative Play)
Rachel watched (and helped a little) while I played Pikmin. She would tell me what to get the tiny "Pinksects" (as she would call them) to do and loved the idea that we had an army of tiny creatures at our command.
Activities: Rachel found that the following related activities worked alongside playing Pikmin 3:
Age: 8-years-old / 01/01/2018 / 5 years ago
Rachel was initially reluctant to play Alba as she thought it would be too hard for her. However, the combination of using sound to track down the birds, along with the simple controls and story meant that she was soon on board.
Age: 10-years-old / 01/01/2020 / 3 years ago
Play Styles: Child Plays Independently (Independent Play)
Rachel wanted to "feel the flying" for herself. This manifested in a number of playground games and a few warnings about jumping off walls. We steered her towards feeling the flying in a few video games. Feather was the one that stuck.
Activities: Rachel found that the following related activities worked alongside playing Feather:
Age: 11-years-old / 01/01/2021 / 2 years ago
We played Wingspan as a family. It's a game where you create flocks of birds by attracting them to your network of wildlife preserves. Along with having some fun together, it revisited the theme of how birds need specific habitats to survive, and how this can be under threat.
Activities: Rachel found that the following related activities worked alongside playing Wingspan:
Age: 12-years-old / 01/01/2022 / 23 months ago
Rachel was fascinated by sim games for a while. After playing through games like Sim City she didn't like how you had to work against the environment to thrive. We introduced her to Terra Nil after a friend suggested it.She was instantly fascinated by the idea that in this game you are working to bring back the wild, not by becoming absent from the planet but by introducing green energy and reinvigorating nature.
Activities: Rachel found that the following related activities worked alongside playing Terra Nil:
The culmination of the milestones in the pathway led to Rachel creating bird (and insect) friendly habitats in the garden. We have described it as a linear journey, but of course, there is always a fair amount of back and forth between the games they played.
Along with the main outcome Rachel also changed in the following ways:
We focus on how games contribute to this outcome, but also include related activities that play a part of this journey: