Educational toys and games for smarter societies: Ruttikorn Vuttikorn at TEDxChiangMai 2013


Translator: Angélica Zetina González
Reviewer: Stivens Arango Hello everybody, my name
is Ruttikorn Vuttikorn. I design toys, games
and children’s products. I graduated in Industrial Design and started my career
as an educational toy designer. Several years ago I had the chance
to join a workshop with 20 designers, doctors, therapists from around the world, designing toys
for disabled children in the UK. That was my first experience working with and for children
with special needs, and that experience
has totally changed my point of view, because being a toy designer, you can do so many things
for the children and for society. Later on, it changed my life,
because I came back to Thailand, I quit my job, and I moved to London to work as a play worker in a toy library. And I went to Japan to study about
the child welfare system there. And what I have seen and learned
from these two countries made me made me understand
the importance of quality play, and I do believe every child should have access to this quality play, no matter how rich or poor they are,
or how their body condition is. Then, I returned to Thailand with new experiences and a lot of ideas and I set up my own company,
Club Creative, in order to both make my living
and make my ideas become a reality. It’s the idea of designing educational
and environmentally friendly toys. After some years of hard work,
the company became more well-known, because we won many awards
from around the world. But anyway, the dream of designing
playthings for people who need them, no matter where or who they are
was always stuck in my mind. So I traveled, meeting with people
around the world, designing toys for them. And this journey has totally,
again, changed my point of view on Thailand. As you can see here,
Thailand in the past, and now. This fast growth leads
to an unstructured system and also it creates a lot of problems, like waste and consumption problems. Even 2 years ago,
when we had big floods in Thailand, it became a bigger disaster because we didn’t know how to deal
with that situation. And there are so many groups of people who are trying to solve the problem
in their own way. Some do it through education, some do it through campaigns,
giving funds, but now, many of them realize
that to solve the problem, you have to go to the root
of the problem, which is people. And the easiest way
is to work with children, Because children are our future and we believe that they have
the power to change society for the better and it’s our job to give them
the right to quality play. Here’s my first game
with a social responsibility concept: Recycling Memo. It’s a mix between a board game
and a memory game that teaches children
how to separate garbage and recycle. The next one is the Eco Go Game. By playing the game, children will play
under a global warming situation and they have to both compete
and help each other in order to win and to save the world. We apply the concept
of life-cycle assessment that will help children
to understand how to reduce resource and energy consumption. And we also applied the concept
of sufficiency economy into our games. We have a simple one,
“Give and Take,” for children from age 9 and the Leader is the complicated one
for teenagers over 12 years old. And what I want to talk
more in detail about is the Sim Democracy game. I think you’re all familiar
with this situation, because Thailand because Thailand has been living
with coups and demonstrations for many many years. We’re the only country
that has had 6 Prime Ministers in 5 years. Until now, we’re still fighting
for democracy, but what is democracy? If everyone wants the same thing,
why are we fighting? So, we study that at school in Thailand. Most of the students learn
democracy through books, but democracy
is not just a simple concept. You cannot understand it by reading. It’s a life style,
you have to experience it, and then you understand it. And that’s why we came up with the idea
of a democracy simulation board game. By playing this game, the players will learn democracy
through role-play. They can be either citizens
or the country leader. As a country leader, you have to plan,
allocate and manage the budget, as the policy
that you have already presented and you also have to solve
all the disputes and problems as promised, while other players
are playing as citizens. What they have to do is to work,
collect money. Of course, you have to pay tax,
monitor the leader. And you also have the role
of helping the leader by sharing ideas on money. We used this Sim Democracy game
everywhere, in every province in Thailand, to raise awareness on democracy,
and our roles as a citizen. Now, we don’t limit our target
to only high school students, because because from the training sessions, we found that it’s so little
that the students understand democracy and its concept and process, and right now we use it with teachers and also the Election Commission
of Thailand’s staff also are playing our game. And this year, we have an English version
of Sim Democracy, and we will use it in India, Bhutan,
Malaysia and other countries. Apart from the example I showed you
in this presentation, there are more projects
that my team and I are working on with different organizations, because we want to make sure
that every child will enjoy the new way of learning,
as we do in Thailand, because we believe that students
have the power to change society for the better and it’s our job to give them
quality play. Thank you very much! (Applause)

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