Tag: Culture

Dorodango – Mud Pies for Older Kids

Dorodango, a mud pie polished to perfection

There is something uniquely Japanese about taking a handful of mud and patiently refining it until it takes on the gemlike quality of a fine ceramic.

Dorodango, or shiny mud balls, have been preoccupying Japanese youth for about a decade, after nearly becoming a lost art.

These marbley marvels take more perseverance than talent to make. Bruce Gardener details the steps, which can be summed up as:

1. Mix fine dirt with water to make a doughy ball.

2. Squeeze and shake the ball to remove moisture and air pockets.

3. Add a layer of fine, dry dirt and gently shape the ball into a spherical shape.

4. Remove excess moisture by placing the dorodango in a plastic bag for a few hours.

5. With very fine, dry dust shape the outer capsule of the ball until perfectly smooth.

6. Polish with soft cloth.

Fumio Kayo has even more detailed instructions including a short video clip on his very busy website.

Photo – Bruce Gardener

Urgent Evoke Is Urgent

In seven days it’s all over. The ten week alternate reality game Urgent Evoke will close its first “crash course in saving the world.”

Players take the role of special agents in a dystopian world, tasked with learning about social problems, shadowing leaders and innovators, and launching collaborative projects. The game brings real-world materials, news and people into play, giving players bite-sized challenges that take them closer to being agents of social change.

If you haven’t started yet, you’re behind the 8-ball for sure. But, at least initially, the challenges can be done fairly quickly. Complete 10 challenges and you can be certified as an EVOKE Social Innovator – Class of 2010.

Urgent Evoke

[Via Howard Rheingold]

The Color of Happy

Colors mean different things to different cultures

Colors have cultural meaning

Yellow is a happy color. Think of the big sunny Happy Face that’s as common as dandelions.

That is, unless you’re a Native American. In that case yellow means “danger” and red means “happy.” Of course, red means “danger” to North Americans of European descent.

Using the color wheel in the gorgeous wall chart available through Information is Beautiful you could easily create a quick cross-cultural game where teams have to communicate an urgent message using color alone. Of course, the teams wouldn’t know that the colors have different meanings until one or two rounds have gone past.

Knowing the cross-cultural symbolism of color is also useful for theming games or experiences that involve people from diverse backgrounds.