During lockdown, everybody is at home glued to their phones or TV. This leads to less interaction among family members. It’s important that people take breaks from gadgets and have fun interacting with each other. Board games are still an ideal option to share moments of authentic entertainment without using electronic devices.
Ima reCreations is bringing back traditional board games. It was founded by Immaculate Antony, five years ago. Ima reCreations is a social enterprise ardent about exploring and reviving traditional games as a treasure to be passed on to generations for recreation. They have revived 150+ games and conducted games to thousands of people. They want people to create bonds among themselves by these games. Their range of board games includes Pallankuzho, Ludo, Chowkabhara, Chinuma, Chinese Checkers, Bugari (spinning tops on a string) and Carrom. These games are not just for fun but also to instill life skills such as logical thinking, problem solving, focus, patience and sportsmanship.
The game and pieces are mainly made with natural, locally sourced materials, with easy markings enough to play the game without fuss as it’s all about bringing back the traditional methods. The wooden games are made by artists in Channapatna and Madurai which are designed and developed by the enterprise. They also get cotton clothes and screen print them for toys and games. The average price of any toy and game is Rs. 120.
Talking about traditional board games, Immaculate Antony said, “These are not formal sports. But, these are also games. They need the same quality like sports. More than body strength, what’s required is mental strength. They need hand coordination, logical thinking, team spirit, sportsmanship. Traditional games are for all with any ability.”
Most of the people of today’s generation have no knowledge about these games so they can first learn this from the staff at Ima, and play. They sell these board games which come with a guide book too. They conduct traditional games both outdoor and indoor for anybody of any age, for any number of people for 1 hour to 4 hours. They also conduct traditional games for schools, colleges, corporates, clubs, societies, NGOs and so on.
“People have forgotten about these games as time passed. Lot of culture, history, geography related to these games have been forgotten and lost. That’s why we wanted to bring them back. These games will refresh everybody’s mind.” Antony said.
They have started modernizing the games as well. Games have been converted into levels as competitions and rewards in games attract people. Many clear cut rules have been incorporated too.
Talking about the challenges in the future, Antony said, “People might stop coming after lockdown ends. Uploading videos is not our revenue earning source. We are skeptical about the future. Because even if they play these games, they go back to American and Chinese toys. But, we don’t want to give up. We are trying do more research and find more games.”
The organisation also wants to train people so the trainers can teach others how to play these games. With their limited resources Ima reCreation has been uploading videos on YouTube every week to encourage others to play traditional games during lockdown period. The content of these videos include tutorials on how to play the game and all the details about it. Such initiatives are great way of keeping traditional games alive . https://www.facebook.com/imarecreation
Written by Swetlana