Game Development in Low-Resource Settings

Live Session Recording

Accordion Content

Abstract: Amidst all of the COVID19 response, we seem to have forgotten that the first institutions that closed were the schools. Children in low-resource settings may not have access to the Internet, smartphones, or a learning environment at home. In such communities this could result in dropouts, drop in learning levels, and child labor due to economic stress on families. Our solution: A learning kit, that is delivered to the kids along with the relief material to the parents. The kit contains a set of books both in Hindi/English and in local dialects, a set of puzzles and games to keep the kids engaged, and some DIY kits like Lego. Physical learning kits sent as relief to children in low resource settings where access to the Internet, phones, and an educator might not be possible in a home environment during extended school closures.

Presenter: Mr. Nagakarthik Mp, Founder

Organization: Sauramandala Foundation

Abstract: Catholic Relief Services, with the Ministry of Education, Youth, & Sport (MOEYS) in Cambodia, created a manual for creation and use of toys and games created from locally available materials, designed to engage parents in play at home and for teachers to use in pre-primary classrooms as learning aids. Most toys/games have adaptations for children with disabilities and some are designed to improve fine motor skills, social skills and reinforce pre-primary learning. Adapted play responds to Universal Design for Learning principles so that children can have needs met in an engaging manner. Schools will not open until November 2020 so there is a need to engage students and parents during this time so as not to lose educational gains. CRS and the MOEYS Special Education Department discussed creating and sharing videos showing how to create and use toys so that children, particularly children with disabilities, are engaged through educational play while schools are not in session.

Presenters: Kerri Agee, Education Specialist and Kosal Sean, Education Specialist

Organization: Catholic Relief Services

Abstract: Escape games for low-resource settings.

Presenter: Scott Nicholson

Title: Professor and Director, Game Design and Development

Organization: Wilfrid Laurier University

Abstract: Early in PlayMatters’ inception phase, the COVID-19 pandemic forced school closures around the world, including Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania. The PlayMatters consortium quickly pivoted to develop a family-friendly, play-based home learning program. PlayMatters prioritized mitigating stress and learning loss at home through LtP activities to make reading, math, and SEL activities fun for the whole family.

At the center of our intervention is a series of paper-based home learning guides that utilize LtP principles: PlayMatters at Home. An additional support to the guides is a radio series that builds off the home learning guides, bringing the activities to life through engaging characters created by Ubongo. Founded in the same principles of well-being, this program creates a space where families can play and learn together. The characters play the games from the guides, sing songs, and discuss real challenges families may face. They speak to adults and children of all ages.


  • Hadijah Nandyose, Senior Project Coordinator, PlayMatters IRC Uganda
  • Atsede Gidey, Strategic Partnership Manager, PlayMatters IRC Ethiopia
  • Joseph Opondo, National Education Program Coordinator, Plan International Uganda
  • Katie Barnum, Regional Curriculum Specialist, PlayMatters IRC