Stories

The Mannerheim League for Child Welfare has long emphasized whimsy and play in its materials in order to connect with children and youth. Over the past years, MLL has begun to offer mobile games in addition to its more conventional ones, such as board games. Seppo.io has served as MLL’s gaming platform. 

Anna-Kaisa Hiedanniemi, The Mannerheim League for Child Welfare
Anna-Kaisa Hiedanniemi, The Mannerheim League for Child Welfare
School and educational institution cooperation coordinator

The Diverse use of Seppo games

At the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare, Seppo games are frequently used in several different teams. In its games, MLL has variously used Seppo’s basic games known to pupils as well as so-called sponsored games. Everyone can play and use the basic games just as they are.

On the other hand, the sponsored games offer the possibility of providing access only to those instructors who have a passcode. In addition, instructors can see the players’ answers in the sponsored games and change the background of the game board as the instructor desires.

MLL wants to highlight important topics in an inspiring way

Anna-Kaisa Hiedanniemi, coordinator responsible for MLL’s cooperation with schools and other educational institutions, feels that the general goal of the games is to bring important topics to the fore by learning through activities: 

We want to offer pupils meaningful and easy learning material. Our topics relate specifically to well-being in schools and we want to support the development of emotional intelligence and friendship skills. Teachers consider these to be important and a part of the school environment, but it can be a problem to find time to teach them. There is also a lack of teaching materials. The Seppo game has been a method that is easy to implement.”

Stopping the noise through the help of Seppo

During the Corona pandemic, the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare got the idea of offering games created on the Seppo platform to children and youth. The pandemic has been a difficult time in particular for youth and it has reduced their well-being at school. At the MLL, thought was given to how to support youth so that they would still feel they were a part of the school community. Seppo games offer a way to do this.

The MLL is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its peer support program in 2022. Peer support students are high school students who participate in creating a safe school environment. MLL wanted to design a game for peer support that would inspire and interest youth and be relevant in the current times. 

We screened different options and finally decided on Seppo, which was already being widely used in schools. It was easy to use and offered many different possibilities and options from the beginning. It was also important to us that the games could have many different types of assignments. In this way, every group member has the opportunity to shine and feel belonging,” Hiedanniemi reports.

The result was the “Rähinää Ratkomassa” (“Stopping the Noise”) mobile game, through which pupils get to know each other and practice cooperation skills. The game was designed specifically for team building, and the peer support students can run the game by themselves for the rest of the pupils as well. The games are played in groups, which means that the students get to know each other at the same time in a fun and natural way.

Seppo provides support in communication and distributing the games

The Mannerheim League for Child Welfare is very independent in using the Seppo games and has strong know-how and vision for creating games on its own. Hiedanniemi says that the MLL is very satisfied with its cooperation with Seppo.

Our cooperation with Seppo has gone well and we have been really satisfied. We have received proficient and professional training and help with creating and using the Seppo games. Seppo has always answered our questions quickly as well, and the chat feature in particular has been a handy way to get help. Those responding have always been professionals and we have been able to ask them even the most low-level, silly questions.” 

At this time, Seppo provides support in distributing the games and communicating about them. Seppo has written about the MLL's games in its newsletter, which has wide a distribution among the teachers. In this way, news about the games has reached the schools directly.

Sponsored games provide more detailed statistics about game use

Seppo's sponsored games are games that a community or a business creates and offers to its target group through a channel. They can make the game available to anyone or, if desired, a passcode can be required to play.

In sponsored games, the game instructor and the game provider always see the players’ answers to the questions. The instructor can then use these answers to organize a debriefing session. In the context of its own games, the MLL has created special debriefing materials. These can help teachers or students reflect on topics highlighted in the games.

The sponsored games also differ from the basic games in that they have reporting capabilities. The game features a reporting tool, which shows for example how many times the game has been downloaded, who has done so and the games played.

The Mannerheim League for Child Welfare has taken advantage of the feature to report to the game's funders and to identify schools in which the games have been played.

The MLL has also always combined the games with an automatic feedback form, which offers important information for development work.

 “Through the feedback form, we collect information about the user base and user experience. The information is used for the development of the games. For example, we have clarified the assignment of certain tasks based on the feedback received. We also do development work together with children and youth, because their participation is important to us. In this way, we avoid using funny adult terms in games designed for youth and children”, Hiedanniemi says.

Become better acquainted with games created by the MLL. [LINK]

Become better acquainted with the MLL’s peer support program. [LINK]