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  • Writer's pictureAlice Smith

Kinder Exeter: Student Perspective of Play and Compassion with Amy and Apurva

June 17, 2021

Day 3’s lunchtime workshop was a student perspective of play and compassion with Amy and Apurva. Amy is a modern languages student and Apurva is a computer sciences student, both at the University of Exeter. Alongside their studies, they are both interns at the Playful University Club, who bring play to university life. The aim of the session was to share their perspective as students and playful people on the importance of play in education and life with some fun games scattered throughout.

Amy and Apurva kicked off the workshop with a great icebreaker game called Password. One person was assigned team leader and the rest of each team had to guess the word from a one-word clue. After a couple of rounds, the ice was certainly broken as the groups laughed about their wrong guesses and celebrated their wins.

To take us through the different stages of play throughout the journey of a student from primary school to university, Amy and Apurva related each stage to a game. In our early years, play is crucial to build friendships and adapt to new surroundings. Amy and Apurva then got the participants to play a game of Splat. This was a fantastic online adaptation of a game that many played in their early years.

Moving onto the pre-teen years, Amy and Apurva explained how students become interested in more complex games such as board games, developing reasoning skills and logical thinking. Apurva shared that she used to play Cluedo with her friends and family every weekend. The group then played wink-murder, and people really embraced the acting challenge, dying exceptionally dramatic Zoom deaths with some excellent sound effects.

In the teenage years, the internet and popular culture plays a major role. Students develop adult hobbies, alongside navigating GCSEs and A-Levels. Linking the game into popular culture, the group played a game of online Pictionary for TV shows and films.

Amy and Apurva then took us through the university stage of education. University students are often navigating living on their own for the first time, making new friends, working on their degree, and preparing for life after education. Amy and Apurva explained that compared to school, university courses are not always designed in the most ‘fun’ way, meaning that university students must add their own fun to learning.

Apurva provided a paragraph about operating systems in computers and asked the participants to come up with a playful way of remembering the information. Everyone spent five minutes with their heads down, thinking faces on. Many participants drew diagrams or used anecdotes to make the information digestible. One participant imagined it in terms of ants and clumsy people, whilst another imagined a churros seller in Spain. Following this, the session ended with a discussion of how universities can implement more playfulness.

You can find out more about Amy and Apurva’s perspective on play in our blog here!

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