Sail into maritime past with new game

Sail into maritime past with new game

A new card game aimed at bringing history to life for young people will allow them to assume the role of a 19th-century pioneer out to make his mark in pre-modern Singapore.

Targeted at players aged 10 and above, The Taipans: Singapore Maritime Heritage Card Game & Challenge is an adventure card game developed by seafarer-turned-history teacher Winston Tham, to simulate the experiences of Singapore's forefathers in building the nation.

"We want to educate (young people) about the rich maritime heritage and the maritime port that gives us life," said Mr Tham, 36, adding that the experiential nature of the game will put players in the shoes of their characters.

The card game is one of 14 projects that will go on exhibition today at the National Heritage Board (NHB) Heritage Grants Showcase, as part of the Singapore HeritageFest 2015.

Since its launch in 2013, the NHB Heritage Grants Showcase, aimed at promoting the creation of heritage content, has disbursed $3 million to more than 110 projects.

Another project on display is a book for young children by childcare teacher Jolene Chua. Titled Benny's Scrapbook, the non-fiction picture book explores Singapore's heritage sites, cultural celebrations and places of interest through postage stamps.

The book is the brainchild of Ms Chua, 21, and her partner, Ms Pearl Marie Ng, and was originally developed for their final-year project in Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

They decided to further develop the book at the suggestion of their mentors after they graduated in May last year. Two thousand copies of the book will be printed by July this year and distributed free to kindergartens such as EtonHouse and Sparkletots.

Ms Chua used stamps in the project because she was worried that children would not know the function of stamps as they become less common. Mr Tham had similar worries about the maritime industry, so he focused on it.

"My grandfather grew up watching the ships and coolies at work along the Singapore River," he said. "But students now want to be (an airline) pilot because they can see the planes and not the ships at Tanjong Pagar (terminal)."

The NHB Heritage Grants Showcase is being held from 10am to 1pm today at the National Museum of Singapore. Entry is free. The Taipans: Singapore Maritime Heritage Card Game & Challenge is on sale at $15.90 in Popular bookstores.

This article was first published on May 02, 2015.
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