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Playfully exploring the world of YouTube – the game Influenc[AR]

3 minutes reading time
6-17 years
Social Media
Tool description
Copyright: jff.de

In this game, children and teenagers can learn how to set up their own YouTube channel and what that means in a fun and risk-free way. It is a mixture of analog parlor game and mobile game.

In a nutshell:

  • Augmented reality card game
  • for 3 – 6 players
  • from about 10 years
  • Print version in free download
  • browser based, playable with any cell phone

What exactly is Influenc[AR]?

All players want to build their own YouTube channel as quickly as possible. At the start of the game, you can choose from six possible channels – such as Beauty, Comedy or Let’s Play. Everyone gets a deck of cards and must complete the tasks depicted there. To do this, each person opens the web app on their smartphone. Each task is illustrated with emojis and the players have to match the card to the situations on their mobile display. Once you have found the right card, you scan the code printed on it with your cell phone camera. If it was correct, the card may be placed on the player’s own game board (called the mission board). The winner is the one who fills up his board the fastest. However, cards from fellow players must be scanned in between. This makes the game communicative and also a little stressful.

The situations depicted relate to various things that YouTubers or influencers have to deal with when they run their own channel: It’s about the relationship with fans, dealing with money and business partners, private life, own health and so on. Therefore, the game can be a good way to start a conversation with children and young people about these issues. They often don’t know how much work is behind a life as an influencer and the problems that can come with it.

What fascinates children and young people about it?

The game is reminiscent of Ligretto, Bingo or similar games where the goal is to act quickly. This is fun! In combination with their own cell phones, it can be particularly exciting for children and young people. The content is not the main focus. However, the young players can contribute their knowledge about emojis and YouTube. In play with parents or other adults, they become experts.

What can be problematic about the offer?

Games with digital elements are prone to errors. When the web app doesn’t work for individual gamers, it can be frustrating. Also, each player needs their own smartphone, which may make it difficult to play in all families. This is also the case if the cards and mission boards cannot be printed because there is no printer. It may be that certain emojis are not understood.

What does the provider think?

The game was developed by media educators (from the JFF – Institute for Media Education) for use in educational work. But it also works well in the family. The creators are in the process of making the game even more exciting and developing it further. It will also be tested whether the game works as an online-only variant, so that the game material does not have to be printed out.

What should parents pay attention to?

Before you play the game with your children, you should test the technology. In the booklet to the game there is a detailed tutorial. The rules of the game are also explained there. If you don’t understand certain emojis, you can also look them up in the booklet.

Maybe your child wants to become a YouTuber, but you don’t know how to convey what that means. The game can be an entertaining help. If you and your kids are just looking for a fun game, that’s fine too!

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