Hi! I’m Alisha and I’m 21 years old.
Back during the first wave of corona, like most people, I was confined to my four walls, but thanks to modern technology, didn’t feel too detached from the rest of the world. However, over time, I realised this is something we often take for granted.
My grandma, who lives alone in a different country, usually leads a busy life and is part of several activity clubs, however, due to the pandemic and restrictions imposed, as well as her age and underlying health conditions, she was forced to self-isolate for months on end. As such, she was cut off from the rest of society, the only technology she owns being a TV and a Nokia. Whilst we would call her frequently to chat to her, a phone call can never truly replace human contact, and one day, my nan called my mum upset because she missed her friends and family.
It was at that point I decided there had to be something I could do for her. Living in a foreign country, I had no way of even going to her house to talk through the window, but if I could instil even a tiny sense of normality for her, I hoped I could help her hang in there until it’s safe to see her again.
I googled games that could be played over the phone, but all the search results were games to play over a video call, something I knew my grandma isn’t able to do. So I set about making my own games that we could play without having to see each other. First I drew a Battleships board, then a Snakes & Ladders board, and finally I made some cards to play Who Am I. I photocopied them, sent my grandma the copies along with pens, playing counters and a dice, and crossed my fingers that they would work. Thankfully, the hardest part was helping my nan figure out how to put her Nokia on speaker (basically pressing every button until she found the right one!).
At the end of September, my Grandad unexpectedly passed away. Because of the Covid-19 restrictions, I wasn’t able to visit him in hospital during his final days and say goodbye and thank him for everything he’s done for me. The weeks after this were unbearably tough, and during this time I realised that in such uncertain times, every moment we have with our loved ones is precious, and I thought about how many other people must be suffering from being forced to be apart from the people they care about. Realising this, I became determined to try and take my games to a larger scale, which is how this website was born. I’ve never made a website before, so it was definitely quite the journey and a lot of trial and error! Creating new games was definitely the easier bit.
I hope that with these games, people can reconnect a little with their loved ones who they’ve been separated from 💗