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The Brain Architecture Game is a dynamic and hands-on game that engages policymakers, community leaders, parents and caregivers in understanding the complex science of early brain and biological development – what promotes it, what derails it, with w

The Brain Architecture Game is a dynamic and hands-on game that engages policymakers, community leaders, parents and caregivers in understanding the complex science of early brain and biological development – what promotes it, what derails it, with w

Photo of Jessica Mason
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Saving Brains, A Grand Challenge: A 10-minute video introducing the basic science of early development as well as what's known about effective programs and policies in low and middle income countries.

Saving Brains, A Grand Challenge: A 10-minute video introducing the basic science of early development as well as what's known about effective programs and policies in low and middle income countries.

Photo of Jessica Mason
8 15

"Extensive research on the biology of stress now shows that healthy development can be derailed by excessive or prolonged activation of stress response systems in the body (especially the brain), with damaging effects on learning, behavior, and healt

"Extensive research on the biology of stress now shows that healthy development can be derailed by excessive or prolonged activation of stress response systems in the body (especially the brain), with damaging effects on learning, behavior, and healt

Photo of Jessica Mason
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Hi Valeria,

I really like the thinking behind your idea. I just went and watched the FreshBiz video and think I now have a better grasp on the the kind of game you are talking about developing for parents. Really interesting!

Two things came to mind:

1. I was wondering if there might be a nice connection between your idea and ours (https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/ideas/the-brain-architecture-game) whereby maybe the Brain Architecture Game could be used as a door-opener or the beginning of you game to sensitize parents to the importance of early development? If the Brain Architecture Game were to set the stage that way then your game could take advantage of that and get parents thinking about the HOW... the concrete things that parents can do to improve their child's development (an area that our game doesn't address explicitly in it's current form). Do you see any valuable alignment here?

2. I was wondering if, just as FreshBiz is aiming to create a new generation of entrepreneurs, I wonder if we could create new generation of parents by targeting not only existing parents, but also adolescents and expecting parents during prenatal care? I would think that using this sort of comprehensive model, in a small community you'd get a double or triple dose effect that could be interesting and potentially much more impactful (through community-based effects)?

Anyway, I love the modality of what you're proposing, particularly the fact that you're basing it on a successful model from another field, and can't wait to see where you take it/it takes you!

Jessica

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Jessica commented on The Brain Architecture Game

Hi Margaret,

That's definitely what we're hoping to do with this game. By providing sound scientific understanding of early development to parents we are able to help them understand not only how development happens but also how they themselves and their communities might strengthen their children's developmental trajectories. Thanks for your feedback!

Jessica

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Jessica commented on The Brain Architecture Game

Hi Afzal,

Thanks for the feedback and for chiming in with your good ideas. I'm 100% with you that a solid train-the-trainer model for facilitators would be critical. I think this is something we would be wanting to think more in depth about after prototyping/mini trials, but it definitely makes sense to begin thinking about it now. Have you had any noteworthy experience with train the trainer yet for Kidogo?

Your point about branding is really interesting. The game may go into proper production here in the U.S. and with that would obviously come a full branding effort. That said, I think the branding we would want to do would be really different for low-income, developing world contexts, so we'd need to think about that really carefully. I love the idea of the kit and it being something attention-grabbing and recognized by the community as the CHWs carry it around!

I also think you're spot on with the idea that the game could be played in many more places than we've initially listed. We'd like to focus on CHWs at least initially since its such an extensive and generally effective delivery mechanism, but it would certainly also be pretty fascinating if the train-the-trainer model was robust enough that day care centers and schools could lead sessions of the game themselves for parents and community members, like during your parents' days.

The strength of a pilot in Brazil is that we have key communications research that helps us understand how the Brazilian public understands child development and what are the most effective ways to communicate about development with them (i.e. how to frame the messaging of the game). We don't have that research in Kenya, but I wonder if a low-cost pilot in Kenya could be interesting and informative regardless? Is this something you would want to pursue?

~Jessica