Gaming! succeeded in engaging young disabled people to work with industry experts in the production of an interactive game entitled ‘Wheels of Glory’, based on wheelchair basketball. The game raises players’ awareness of the physical and psychological strength required by Paralympians, as well as some of the barriers that disabled athletes must overcome in order to compete at a world-class level.
‘Wheels of Glory’ was showcased at the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) Conference in November 2010 and is now playable through the Create Compete Collaborate (CCC) and Accentuate websites, where young people from all over the world enjoy playing against one another. It has proved so popular that Accentuate invested further funding and it has recently been developed into a mobile phone app.
Dr Tom Scutt said “It's certainly been inspirational and I think it would be no exaggeration to say that I've learned as much as I've taught!”
The game is based on wheelchair basketball and raises players’ awareness of the physical and psychological strength required by Paralympians, as well as some of the barriers that disabled athletes must overcome in order to compete at a world-class level. The game “Wheels of Glory” is playable through the CCC and Accentuate websites and will enable young people from all over the world to play against one another.
The launch event was a fantastic opportunity to get the young people who had been involved and their parents together, alongside their teachers, and members of the Accentuate and CCC teams, as well as individuals from Bucks County Council, Stoke Mandeville Stadium, members of the press and ex-paralympians. It was wonderful to hear the testimonials from the students saying how much they had learnt from the project, particularly skills around communication and working as a team. Their tutor Hannah Stower commented that
“it had been impossible to put a sealing on the project as the students wanted to do more and more”.
The enthusiasm was apparent, not only amongst the team who created “Wheels of Glory” but also with the other two teams of students who had created another two games.
The event itself was held at the impressive Heatherden Hall at Pinewood Studios. There was a sense of excitement from the beginning, as we entered the building via a red carpet. Guests were also privileged to a tour of Studio Seven. The home of Accentuate is
The students were keen to point out how much they learnt from working on ‘Wheels of Glory’, particularly skills around communication and working as a team. Several teaching sessions were delivered via web cam and guests at the launch were able to see how this worked via a live link up to Roxanne Hadad in Chicago. The sense that Gaming! had broken much new ground was apparent, not only amongst the onlookers but also with the students and teachers involved.
Greg Hodgson, Senior Leader at Chalftons Community College and Head of Art & Design said:
Gaming! has been a really exciting and engaging project for staff as well as students. It has allowed us to test cutting edge technologies and developed all of our understanding of online learning. It’s been fascinating to have a real client, with a specific brief to do with disability that has given the process real meaning, far greater than just making a game. It has really challenged students and staff’s understanding and knowledge.
Dr Tom Scutt added:
It's certainly been inspirational and I think it would be no exaggeration to say that I've learned as much as I've taught!