Project Online Roleplay Game

Project Online Roleplay Game

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Contributor:
Janine Böhme
Organization:
Edition:
2012

Description

The basic idea of the project is to make use of the popularity of online roleplay games to propagate the game of Go and also to help beginners on their way to ~10k. Any financial profit that might be generated will be used to support other Go projects as a recreational sport, especially in the youth sector.
In the beginning every player will go through an interview which will determine their character (student, fighter/warrior, adventurer/archaeologist, storyteller/guy with amnesia) and their starting point. Each character has an own story line, own game object and specific options to style their character (appearance). The characters’ paths will intersect (and there might be the possibility to change to another character at some points, it is probably the easiest to transform to student).
The Go content is the same for all characters on the respective level, although the ‘wrapping’ might vary. To reach the next level the player needs to solve certain quests, puzzles and/or tests whereas on the lower levels there are level up points or tests which enable the player to skip almost entire levels (for players who possess prior knowledge of Go).
Upon reaching a new level the possibilities increase, e.g. new board sizes, rule sets and time systems, Go variants, items/equipment and activation of new areas.
There are two currencies (to be designated). Currency A can be earned by solving Go problems and currency B by solving quests/riddles and exploring the online world etc.
The currencies can be used to pay for accessories, equipment, housing and furniture, Go material, information, club membership, tournament entrance fees etc.
Players can form clubs which can compete with each other and the like. From the club funds they can rent rooms or buildings, hire Go tutors, organize tournaments and finance other activities.
The different realms may take place in different dimensions and ages – such as Asia at Shusaku’s time, an alien planet somewhere in the universe, a parallel Fantasy dimension and so on.
As many aspects of Go as possible will be included, such as rules, lore, Go terms/foreign languages, philosophy, Go problems (life & death, shapes, best move), theories to each aspect of the game, standard sequences, tools such as counting liberties in semeai, pro games, …

Objectives

Every time I gave courses for beginners over several weeks or months I encountered the same problems:
– Playing once a week isn’t really enough to improve ones Go-skills and there are often longer breaks due to holiday etc.
– Most participants don’t like solving Go-problems all too much.
– Some participants join the course later and miss therefore the subjects of the previous lessons.
– The level and the pace of improvement varies significantly from person to person, which makes compromises necessary in the teaching content, methods and speed.
In order to enable beginners to make best use of their skills and talents, we want to create an interactive platform where beginners can learn and train Go to their heart’s content and at their one pace.
It is not our goal to replace e. g. Go clubs and teachers in schools, but rather to support them and motivate the beginners to solve Go problems and learn more about Go than one does normally on Go servers.

Realisation

So far we framed the rough direction in which the game will develop. We founded the association “AdYouKi Go” which will help to handle administrative issues such as copyright, sponsors and finances in general.
Now we need skilled programmers and motivated Go players who help to amass tens of thousands of Go problems, background information on history, philosophies, etiquette, professional players as well as stories/ legends, actual news and of course Go theory to all game aspects.

Resources

For now we need a lot of people, especially programmers but also graphic artists, musicians, translators, Go teachers and so on.
In a while we will also need servers to run the game and sponsors to handle thereby incurring costs.

Possibilities of copying this project

So far we want to run the game in German and English, but other languages shall follow. The game will probably be licensed under GNU (open source) so that there is the possibility to copy and improve it later e.g. by changing the graphic from 2D to 3D.

Giochiamo a Go nelle scuole – let’s play Go in schools!

let’s play Go in schools!
DSC_7372

Contributor:
Maurizio Parton
Organization:
FIGG
Prize winner:
European Iwamoto Award 2012

Description

The project is structured in four main parts:
1. Providing materials. We wrote a book in Italian language containing the rules and some very basic notions of the game; the book was then sold, at price cost, together with 9×9 plastic or 13×13 wood sets. The book can also be downloaded on the Internet for free. The book+Go set served as a base for the following steps.
2. Training of teachers. We trained 4 teachers through 4 lectures: after a discussion about the educational potential of Go, we gave them historical and cultural fundamentals about the game and we taught them the rules. At the end, these 4 teachers were able to help us in the following step.
3. Lessons in schools. We started a series of courses in Italian schools, covering three levels: primary, middle and high schools. The courses were generally held in the afternoon, after the regular lessons, on voluntary basis; in one case, though, the course has figured as a part of the ordinary activity of the school, and took place in the normal school time. At the present day, the project interested 4 schools, involving about a hundred of students.
4. National Juniores Championship. The first “Campionato Italiano Juniores 13×13” (Italian Junior Championship 13×13) took place on the 17th of June 2012, and saw the presence of 48 participants, from 7 to 19 years old, the most of which were been taught in our courses (we had also some independent participants). You can see the pictures of this extraordinary event here.

Objectives

For what concerns Go, our goals are
1) to spread the game between young and very young generations;
2) to scout for young talents;
3) to spread Go in contexts that would be hard to reach in normal conditions – far from universities, game enthusiasts, Far East connoisseurs, etc.
As teachers, we deeply believe in the educational potential of the game, in particular its ability to develop logical and mathematical skills, to help focusing on specific tasks, and to elaborate strategies to realise ones goals.

Realisation

The most relevant premise for the project to work is that a contact is established between Go world and the school system. In this regard, having suitable relationships (or an ability to establish them) appears to be the main issue. In our case, the fact that one of the organizers of the project (Alessandro Salpietro) works in a primary school as a teacher played quite a significant role in the outcome of the project. Maurizio Parton, as a mathematician, managed to provide useful contacts between middle and high schools teachers of mathematics. Having a Go player (Olivier Turquet) in chief of a publishing house was also very helpful for the first part of the project (providing materials).

Resources

1. Writing the book: 60 hours;
2. Training of teachers: 4 lectures of 3 hours each, 2-5 trainers involved;
3. Lessons in schools: for the primary school, 2 hours per week, during the whole year, 1 Go player teacher. For middle and high school, 3 hours per week, 6 weeks long, trained teachers + 2-5 Go players;
4. Championship: 1 day for the organization, 1 day for the tournament, 6 Go players involved.
From a didactic point of view, the role of direct lessons is – at least with kids – vital and irreplaceable. Older students, instead, can recur to the book to learn the rules (if unable to attend all or some of the lessons), or simply use it to deepen and review what they’ve learned at school. For what concerns the sets, besides the ones sold with the book (about 25), a wide variety of makeshift sets was put in place. On the Internet, we created a room on KGS (“Giochiamo a Go nelle scuole”), specifically intended for the kids from our schools, that also hosted, once, a little
tournament. The most important resource remains, anyway, the willingness of volunteers from the FIGG and the help from the world of Italian teachers and school workers.

Possibilities of copying this project

Referring to the description, in order to copy this project you need:
1. to produce a book stating rules and some tactics in a simple and understandable way, in native language and a cheap 9×9 or 13×13 set;
2. to communicate to the schools that you can train teachers in order for them to support you in giving Go lectures to students;
3. to organize a final event, giving all the students the chance to participate in an actual competition.
Ad. 1: the FIGG released his book under a Creative Commons license, so step 1 reduces to translating the book. If you want to write the book by yourself, we suggest using LaTeX and Igo package. The Go set, book included, should be cheap.
Ad. 2: we produced a letter for schools, which could be translated. Having Go players which are also school teachers would be very helpful.
Ad. 3: the final event is more or less an ordinary tournament: just keep in mind that 7 years old players can be noisier than usual :-) An official acknowledgement from the national Go Association give to the tournament an additional value.

Cambridge Youth Project

Cambridge Youth Project

Prizewinner

Contributor:
Paul Smith
Organization:
Cambridge Youth Go Project
Edition:
2007

Description

The Cambridge Youth GoProject was set up around ten years ago with the aim of increasing the number of local children actively playing Go.
The first part of our strategy was to start a club for juniors to play Chess and Go. The idea was to work in cooperation with the local Chess club who also wanted to encourage junior players; also there is a lot of interest in Chess in our target age group due to the success of the UK Chess Challenge.The club is a big success and we recently had 34 players competing in a Go tournament at the club.
The second part of our strategy was to make contact with as many parents and teachers as possible in order to get new opportunities to introduce juniors to Go. We did this via the club itself, but also by running an annual tournament and by running Go teaching stalls at Chess events. This has also been a success and has resulted in Go clubs or Chess & Go clubs starting up in half a dozen schools so far in Cambridge. The most successful of these, Milton School, recently ran a Go tournament in the school with 39 players.
We have made sure that children who have started playing Go keep their enthusiasm by arranging a range of tournament and teaching events for them. Recently this has included a successful teaching day (organised jointly with the BGA) where we made use of a local venue with Internet access to introduce children to various online Go resources. This included playing a team game on KGS which was projected on a big screen.
Throughout we have taken care to get as many as possible local enthusiastic Go players involved. In 2007 around 10-12 local players have helped with the juniors in some way. We maintain a Yahoo Group to keep in touch with these volunteers and to allow them all to put in their ideas.
We started off with some money from the Ing Foundation. We have managed to attract sponsorship and also individual donations to support our work. And the money we have brought in from clubs and tournaments has so far exceeded the cost of running them.
Over 100 children are regularly playing Go in our area as a result of our project. We are confident that this number will grow.
We feel that our ideas could be taken up in other places. If there were other similar projects in other parts of the UK, for example, we think that the number of junior Go players in the country could grow rapidly.
You can read a provisional report of activities from 2007 here. It includes some photographs.

Objectives

The main objective of our project was to get more juniors in the Cambridge area playing Go. Our main target is the 7-11 age band. We estimate there are about 10,000 children of this age in the Cambridge area and we were aiming first to get 1% of them playing Go and then see if we could increase this to 2%-3% which would bring Go fairly much level with Chess.

Realisation

We have reached the first stage of our objectives in that there are over 100 children in the Cambridge area now regularly playing Go. We are confident that we can continue to increase this number.

Resources

Human resources: We estimate that around 20 local Go players have been involved in the project during the life of the project. In addition to this, Chess players and parents have helped with some of the events that we have organised.
The current level of input from local Go players is probably in the range 10-20 person hours per week in total. We feel that one of the reasons that our project is sustainable is that no individual person has had to put in a very great amount of their own time.
Financial resources: We had an initial spend of around 150-200 pounds on Go equipment. We also spent money on photocopying teaching materials and on buying some Go books. Each year at the start of the school year we produce advertising material for our Chess & Go club. Part of this is to produce around 6000 flyers for local schools. At commercial rates this would cost us almost 200 pounds but we have usually been able to find some way getting them produced or at a cheap rate.
At the start of our project we received an Ing grant which more than covered our start up costs. Clubs and tournaments that we have run have in general been able to cover their own costs by the amount of money raised by subscriptions or entry fees.

Possibilities to copy this project

We feel that it should be possible to reproduce our project both in other parts of the UK and in other European countries.
We recently produced some advice for people in other parts of the UK who might be interested in starting up a similar project. This has been posted by the BGA on their site. We hope that we might be able to give some financial assistance and other specific help and advice to people starting any similar project.
Some of the specific ways we have carried out our project (for example, how we have advertised our activities to schools) may have to be modified for other countries, but we feel that the overall project idea should apply equally well in other parts of Europe.
Our project has not involved any large financial risk nor the necessity to find particular individuals with a very large amount of spare time; for this reason we feel it should not be too hard to reproduce elsewhere.

Hyperlink

The website of Cambridge Junior Chess & Go Club: http://www.chessgo.org.uk

Book on Go for Elementary School

Book on Go for Elementary School

book_illustration1

Contributor:
Tibor Rapai
Organization:
Hungarian Go Association
Edition:
2003

Description

While being responsible for international affairs within the Hungarian Go Association executive, I am starting some personal activities now based on my Japanese knowledge and inspirations from several persons around me. It is going to be a project of wide effect and I need your help to be able to publish the ever first book on Go in Hungary. In May 2002 we had a group of Japanese players visiting Budapest GP, lead by Nihon-Kiin 6dan professional player Masaaki Hirano sensei. He helped us with instructions and game commentaries during the tournament, and we experienced his teaching style and warm, informal personal attitude to be very close to us. His ideas were understandable for weak kyu players as well while analysing top amateur players’ games. The atmosphere was similar to that of Saijo sensei’s lessons during the European Go Congresses.

 

That time I heard from Hirano sensei about his new series of Go teaching books, the first of which has just come out from print in Japan (the date of publishing is 2002 September 15). When we spoke about situation of Go in Hungary, I asked him about a possibility to translate his book into Hungarian. Then he kindly offered his help to publish the book in Hungary.

 

Later I have received both the book and the material on CD from him. I have just started the translation now, and my plan (based on talks with a journalists knowing well such things) is to reach all Hungarian elementary schools countrywide with Go promotion material. It can be done using the School-book Publishing Company’s help. They send regularly a list of available books to all schools, the books are ordered by the schools simply writing the necessary numbers into the boxes on the list, very easily. The promotion material will include a free flyleaf offering the book, sent together with the list as follows:

 

A free flyleaf in colour and high quality, in final print two sided A4 size, the first page containing:
1. Introduction of Hirano sensei’s book: Winning and losing patterns in Go (with picture on the left)
2. Description of the board, instructions how to build a paper board oneself (picture of a board on the right)
3. The basic rules of Go (all small paragraphs with a funny caricature connecting Go to real life or other sport, eg. illustrating black and white consequent moves with black and white sumo wrestler figures standing on stones)
4. Short introduction (in one sentence for each) the versions of playing: Atari-go, equal game and handicap go, Japanese counting.

 

The second page of the flyleaf will introduce some basic techniques briefly, also with simple diagrams:
1. Catching (groups of) stones with ladder, geta, eyes, false eyes – cutting, living groups, ko rule
2. Basic patterns of connected stones, extensions from groups and vital points to attack groups
3. Finally list of go resurces on the Web, HGA, EGF, and my own home page with online ordering.
Of course these basics would fill up several books separately if discussed in details with exercises. My basic aim is to reach, with series of visually understandable definitions, the level where the book starts. I have also in my mind that such information is available already from several sources. For example there is a small guide in the Go sets other HGA members keep selling, and good teaching material on HGA’s home page. Also Hirano sensei plans to write an introductory book within his series.

 

I think the Winning and losing patterns is a book highly needed both by our active players and the beginners, because it is speaking in easily understandable terms about the direction of the play. This way it can give not only useful knowledge but basic thinking about Go play for all of us. Such a book represents value and can be used by all players or becoming players. I plan to sell it on a minimum price, which covers the costs of printing and distribution. I need financial aid from the award to be able to print out this flyer and the book in nice quality. Then the future – surely quite limited – income from selling the book will be the basis to publish the next ones and making further steps.

Objectives

Introducing the game of Go using the school-book publishing channels to all elementary schools in Hungary. With ordering the book, using Web resources, and ordering or self-making Go sets there can self-supported go circles emerge around interested teachers. Such groups can give place for go teaching courses held by members of HGA later. I am also thinking about showing Hikaru no Go video series during go courses in schools to generate high interest among the pupils. Hikaru is proved to be a big success in Japan already. Attaching Hungarian subtitles for the series would be a manageable work in size; I have already contacted Ms. Rina Yamamoto asking about the possible solution regarding copyright.

Realisation

I have started already the translation of Hirano sensei’s book and collecting material for the flyer. Of course the contents of both will be checked by a top dan player before publishing, I plan to ask Tibor Pocsai 6dan, our former European champion for this task. The basic thing I would like to add, that I don’t want to get money from the award only for promises. I need your help only when the book gets ready for printing, so – in case you think my project deserves supporting with the help of the award – I can present you the electronic material before the transfer of money!

Resources

Until now only own resources and the generous help of Masaaki Hirano sensei.

Possibilities to copy this project

I think each country can move ahead with promotion in this way, maybe many did similarly already. My key ideas are using school-book distribution channel, free introduction flyleaf with caricatures, instructions how to make paper Go set, easy book (and Go set) ordering (through the school-book publisher and on Web), then helping Go circles combining usual teaching methods and Hikaru no Go.

Internet Go School

Internet Go School
igs

Contributor:
Dariusz Dabkowski
Organization:
Polish Go Association
Prize winner:
Encouragement Award 2003

Description

Internet Go School is a place on internet where the ones who have just learned that Go exist can get more information, contacts to nearby living players, lessons, and they all can start playing Go or improve their play.
Internet Go School uses a fixed structure for commenting games. Instead of submitting games for review to a different volunteer every time all participants are assigned to teachers who are responsible for commenting games and playing teaching games with their students. In this way time is spent more efficiently, progress is overseen and people get to know each other.

Everybody in the school can act both as a teacher and a student except for the bottom and top ranks. This creates a very motivating and educational situation where participants learn to put much work into their games. At the same time being able to act as a teacher motivates them through proving that certain progress has been made. Most of the participants are kids and youth.

Objectives

1. To spread Go in a fast and efficient way.
2. To integrate players through all the country by organizing internet tournaments, on-line lessons and mutual teaching program.
3. To help beginners with basics of the game.
4. To raise level of play by teaching each other.

Realisation

We have 1/3 of people playing Go in Poland in our school after a half year of activity. There are 2 – 3 new participants per week, mostly completely beginners. Some of the participants will compete for top places in coming Polish Youth Go Championship. They are students taught by the Internet Go School.

Resources

Manpower: The school is run by one person with support from a webmaster (occasional updates etc.).
Financial resources: None.

Possibilities to copy this project

Integration of players scattered through the country is a big problem everywhere in Europe. Internet is a good tool for people having problems in finding opponents and lessons. This project can be basically cloned with no effort put into adopting to local conditions. All it takes is manpower to run it and a website.

Go in education

Go in education

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Contributor:
Marc Gonzalez Carnicer
Organization:
Moyo Go Institute
Prize winner:
Encouragement Award 2003

Description

This project consists on a set of materials and services that attempt to introduce the game of go in the Catalan educational system. The materials are documents (bureaucratic and didactic) and beginners go sets; the services are mainly support activities and teachers training. This project has been designed to maximize the results obtained by a small group of volunteers in a ‘small’ country, where availability and continuity of go players and teachers can not be guaranteed. To ensure this continuity, schools are offered the game of go as both a curricular activity and an after school program.
The Catalan Government official curriculum book (where all teachers must base their courses) has been analyzed and from there samples have been extracted for a wide range of subjects (maths, sports, history, geography, etc.) and ages using the game of go as a base. A set of documents containing proposals for courses is therefore offered. Besides the contents and procedures related to every course, another set of documents informs schools about the paradox that is how easy it is to learn the game go and how difficult it is to play it well, which leads to the conclusion that at a first stage, go develops on children attention and self-steem. The documentation also contains the bureaucratic documents used in schools to approve the contents of a course. Moyo also provides support activities and services to the Educational community. The support activities we offer are many:
– Training ‘standard’ teachers into the game of go and the Yasuda-Shigeno teaching method.
– Giving lectures and presentations in any forum we are invited to. This year we have attended a sports symposium and the Board games in Academia colloquim, with Yuki Shigeno 2-dan. She also attended all the centres where go is being taught.
– Arranging gatherings. For the first time in years we have arranged a National youth and children tournament, which gathered 60 players from 3 different towns and 6 different schools. As a consequence of the apperance in local press of this event we have been requested to teach go in several schools. This year we expect to have young players from southern France in our tournament.
– Doing ourselves the actual teaching of children in after school programs.
– Personalized training and mentoring of children. For those children who wish to play more than in school we offer personalized training. We also expect to travel to the EYC. We have attended Cannes and Prague, we expect to go to Cannes this year.

Objectives

– introduction of go in schools, both as a curricular subject and an after school program
– set up a permanent framework of go promotions without being very dependant on the availability of go players. This is important in a small go community like the one in Barcelona.
– have a growing number of children who play go regularly
– provide support activities to schools and teachers willing to teach go to their students
– ease the bureaucratic work of teachers by providing the documents they need to introduce go in their centres

Realisation

The project started by Moyo is just starting. Most of the initial objectives have been accomplished, but now it is the time of growing and stabilizing. This means increasing the number of schools and towns where go is played. It is also desirable to increase the percentage of schools where go is offered as a curricular subject. Nowadays our services are even being offered through educational organisations who provide educational resources to schools. These organizations include an educational resources centre in the city of Barcelona, and an after school activity provider in the city of Sabadell. We have started positive exchanges with the Education department of the Barcelona Municipality.

Resources

The resources used by our project are not very high. However, in the initial phase we have used some extra work to set up the environment.
Manpower: – concept and idea : 10 h
– preparation of documents : 40 h
– attendance to demos and lectures : 400 h (during 4 years)
– web page : 50 h
Financial resources:
– setting up : 200 euro
– catalonia go children championship : 600 euro
– visit of Yuki Shigeno : 500 euro
– travel to Prague’s EYC : 400 euro
Until now all of these expenses have been covered by donations of the members of Moyo but the Spanish Go Association has committed to finance a part of our expenses

Possibilities to copy this project

We believe this project is perfectly portable to other countries. There is only the need to adapt the contents of the documents to the particularities of the destination Education system. All the documents and ideas we have used are available at our web site in catalan, english and spanish. We would also be happy to provide help and support to people willing to implement a similar project somewhere else.

Contact information

Moyo Go Institute
Address : Club d’escacs Vulca. c/ Julia Portet 15, principal
Postal address : PO box 33093, 08080 Barcelona (Spain)
Email address : imoyo@imoyo.org

Real big problem book

Real Big Problem Book
Big_Problems_Solution

Contributor:
Kalli Balduin
Organization:
Berlin Go Association
Prize winner:
Encouragement Award 2012

Description

My “real big problem book” is a result of my 7 years teaching Go to children. Children always like to solve problems, but using ordinary problem books I encounter two difficulties. For children, using a problem book, have difficulties in spotting the solution in the book, because the problem diagrams are too small and the fingers are too big. The other thing is: it takes too much time to set up the problem on the board, to take the wrong moves off and to try a second time, especially for beginners and kids. I often observe my students. When I brought an ordinary problem book, they get bored and stop soon doing it after some problems.
With this “real big problem book”, you can place real go stones on the paper, remove them easily, if something goes wrong with your solution. You can also play variations, play with white stones first, finish the games with problems on 9×9, and learn to count the endgame. Children enjoy this book very much; they solve dozens of problems non-stop, discuss with other friends, wipe the stones off the paper and try a second time. Even you teach a group of children who sit around the table, this book is also an ideal helper, because everybody can see it, or you can show the book and hold it high in front of a class.
The “real big problem beginner’s book” is without solutions, because problems are easy to solve for a stronger player and children should discuss the problems with a teacher or a stronger player. I give a list with hints for the teachers about the problems. Black plays first always, but you can also ask your students what the difference would be, if it were white’s turn. Dan players are sometimes lazy to solve problems in a go club. I once made a “real big dan- level problem book”, everybody enjoyed their enthusiastic discussions, and they, like the children, enjoyed the idea of this book and solved many problems. I hope this book will be a useful help in your go-lessons.
The one page rating List is a useful and easy to handle new supply for my old rating list. In this new rating List, the children can choose a color and fill in the squares, if they win a game. With this new colorful list, teachers and childen can easily get an overview over their groups strength development. If they reach the 30 kyu level they will get a sticker in my other list, which is descriped in my application in 2003. The children like this new list like the old one very much.

Objectives

I wanted a useful help for children to solve many problems with real go stones, without putting up the problem on the board.

Realisation

I use this book with great success in all my classes. Other teachers using the book are fascinated by this simple but effective idea.

Resources

Human resources: A person to use the computer and printer.
Financial resources: Cost of paper, ink for printing.