The steps we took to develop our Escape Game’s scenarios
Within the framework of the Erasmus + programme, a consortium of four partners from Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and Belgium was formed to create the ERSE project, which objective is to develop 12 escape games on the theme of social entrepreneurship.
In a previous article we gave the essential steps to follow to create an educational escape game from scratch (How to create your own educational escape game). In this article, we will share our path to find inspiration and the instructive elements of the screenplay.
Before developing educational escape games there are several steps that have to be followed to ensure the quality and relevance of the proposed escape games scenario.
- Finding inspiration!
Before arriving at the scenario development stage, the partners had to go through a research phase in order to identify what could be interesting synopses, exploitable sources of inspiration and, above all, the aspects of social entrepreneurship to be developed and taught.
For this first stage, the partners were interested in how certain social and solidarity enterprises such as cooperatives, associations, health mutual organisation, but also in learning how and by whom they were created, what they offer that is innovative in their sector, how they adapt, etc. To do so, the partners were inspired by the enterprises and entrepreneurs in their countries and regions, but also those presented by Forbes in the 30 under 30 category, i.e. entrepreneurs who are under 30 years old and who have initiated the creation of a social enterprise. The partners also took an interest in the winners of the Chivas Venture Awards, which annually finances and mentors entrepreneurs who use businesses to tackle the world’s biggest social and environmental problems.
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It was difficult to choose from so many sources of inspiration, but we have chosen some of the companies listed below (non-exhaustive list):
- In Greece, the BIOME company, which was a company abandoned during the crisis but taken over and re-energized by the workers who then put in place an inclusive and participative approach and governance.
- In Portugal, the company AVIPG which is a charitable association founded after the fires of Pedrógão Grande in 2017 to help its victims.
- In Belgium, the association Habitat et Humanisme, which seeks to restore dignity to the most destitute by offering them decent and affordable housing. The housing stock is built up through collective savings and participatory governance.
- In Cyprus, the non-governmental organisation Anakyklos, which raises awareness about environmental issues.
We took inspiration from social enterprises all around the world, and all the synopses (brief narrative that outlines the plot of the screenplay) developed by partners (20 in total) will be available on the project’s website.
2. Teaching axes
For the second stage, when the sources of inspiration were found, the partners identified the pedagogical objectives, i.e. the subjects that could be addressed and constructive for understanding social entrepreneurship. Each escape game should enable participants to address and understand a specific aspect of social entrepreneurship. Here again, there were many ideas: the development of a business plan, the creation of participatory fundraising campaigns, the different models of governance within social enterprises, the social and solidarity economy, or renowned social entrepreneurs and social enterprises (Ashoka, Toms, Grameen Bank, etc.). The pedagogical objectives must be in link with the context and consistent with each other.
As an example, if the context is about a social enterprise promoting social and digital inclusion and the pedagogical objective is to raise their awareness about the European Accessibility Act, it is possible to use the Braille alphabet or Sign language as codes to make participants access the right webpage. Hence, there is a link between context, pedagogical objectives, and the riddles.
The last step, when the context has been set up and the pedagogical objectives have been clearly defined, is to call on our knowledge of escape game mechanisms in order to be able to write a scenario that is not only plausible, but also playful, instructive and above all fun! There must be no absurd elements and it is important that all the elements are consistent with each other. Beyond the technical aspects and the requirements imposed by escape games (closed place, limited time, easily replaceable material), the funniest part (as an escape game scenario designer) is certainly to call upon imagination and creativity.
4. Making the EG
When the scenario is written and well tied up with its riddles, clues, and final objective, it is now time to design and graphically develop the clues. For practical information on how to graphically develop your clues and riddles, you can read the article: “Ready to create your own escape room? »
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