Published: 30th June 2021
Why this game can help you appreciate the beaches of Chennai a little more
Beach Bingo is a game for children to help them become more aware of the marine ecosystem. We speak to the team behind it
India's coastline is teeming with marine life. But a large section of the general public remains unaware of the diverse flora and fauna that the coast boasts of. A few marine life enthusiasts, part of the Madras Naturalists' Society, have taken it upon themselves to map the biodiversity across the coast of Tamil Nadu. After visiting various parts of North Tamil Nadu, including Chennai, the team has completed the first phase of their survey. And their main aim is to educate and involve the public in protecting marine biodiversity.
It is with this motive that the team has developed a fun game called Beach Bingo, which is targetted at children. Yuvan Aves, the Project Lead, says, "We are trying to create educational material with the findings of our study. Besides Beach Bingo, there is also a comprehensive field guide and several posters that we have created. The field guide contains 128 species of organisms that can be found on the coasts of northern Tamil Nadu." Explaining how the game works, Anooja Anil, another member of the core team, says, "The game is played on a sheet of paper that has names and illustrations of 16 commonly found organisms and objects at any beach in Chennai. When they spot any of these, they can cross it off the list." It is even more fun if there's some healthy competition. "When people visit the beach, they usually don't notice a lot of things lying around. But through this game, we are hoping to create awareness, especially among the children," adds Anooja.
Beach Bingo game
To encourage more children to play the game, Anooja and the team decided to add some illustrations. "I used Adobe Fresco and my Apple Pen to illustrate. I had seen most of these organisms myself and for the rest, I had reference pictures," says Anooja, who just graduated with a BSc degree in Advanced Zoology and Biotechnology from Stella Maris College. From ghost net and ghost crab to tower snail and barnacles, Beach Bingo contains a variety of objects that can be seen at the coast. The game can be downloaded for free. "Users can visit the One Drive link provided on the Facebook and Instagram pages of Madras Naturalists' Society and download the PDF. It can be printed out and then, the various species and objects can be identified," says Yuvan. Besides Yuvan and Anooja, the team also consists of Vikas Madhav Nagarajan, Rohith Srinivasan, Nanditha Ram Satagopan and Aswathi Asokan.
You can download the game at https://bit.ly/3qCqcmj.