If you read the previous post, you know that the last week was crazy. I was running between places, trying to stretch the time, because of my personal project. It was a Festival of Democracy (Demokratiefest) that took place in Bürgerzentrum West on 17th May. The organiser was The Youth Council West and the guest were pretty important people such as President of the State Parliament of Baden-Württemberg (Muhterem Aras), mayor for social affairs and social integration of the state capital (Dr. Alexandra Sußmann), the district leader (Bernhard Mellert and Marcel Wolf) as well as member of Young European Federalists (Alice Bergmann). I got the chance to meet some of them and show them my game.

We were invited to participate, but not really given the specifics of the event. Talking with my colleague Lia, we concluded that a nice idea would be to make a memory game. And we had one that we could use… in theory. It was a one-page game idea from Amnesty International – organisation that I wholeheartedly love. But this was not their best work (to say the least). The questions and answers were mismatched. They were also super hard and even I struggled with them. And I studied politics so it should be a piece of cake to me. I talked with many people in the office to try to figure out how to make it better. Alice suggested to make it more focused and categorised, kick out some weird questions, and add more cards with days like Humans Rights Day or World Day Against Death Penalty. I had very little time, so I haven’t added a lot, but I still think I did a pretty good job.

I printed the cards out, cut them with the scary paper cutting machine, fearing for my life, fighting the desire for perfection, with the desire to have my fingers at the end of the process. As soon as I was done, I run to the shop to get the things for the Dunkel Discussion that my colleagues Lia and Mark were organising this week, with my help of course.

Next day, came ‘the’ day. I arrived and set up the stand. I was expecting a lot of stands, in some corridor perhaps, a lot of people and a very small space for me and my game… But it wasn’t like that at all. Huge room, only four stands. A lot of people, yes, but busy with workshops and listening to a political discussion. It is not easy to win the attention of teenagers. I feel old saying that, but it is true. Next to me was a colourful stand, full of things you could take for free, some videos to watch, cards to fill in, posters etc. I never regretted more, not coming with all the things like this. But I improvised. I handwritten the posters. And I had one big advantage. I had sweets!

If I know one thing about young people, it is that they love sweets. So, I offered them in exchange for a game. Winner or looser, everyone gets a treat. And it worked!

Of course, someone might say that people only played because they were rewarded, and that they didn’t care what the cards are saying. And yes, there were people like that. But a lot of people did read all the cards carefully. Some even didn’t want sweets at all, they just wanted to play. And that was my point, I think. To show people that learning can be fun! That it doesn’t have to be sitting with the textbook and reading for hours, only to remember three things.

I did the game super last minute, because the opportunity came, and I haven’t wanted to waste it. It was not perfect, but it was successful. Around 30 people played the game, out of 120 participants. I think that is a pretty good number. I will leave it for you to judge.

More about the event itself can be found here: