Schoolboy creates board game about living on the Winstanley Estate in Battersea

Wandsworth Guardian: Osmond Gordon-Vernon Osmond Gordon-Vernon

An innovative schoolboy has invented a board game about life on the Winstanley Estate.

Life is What U Make It aims to educate players about what it is like growing up in the area.

Wandsworth Guardian:

The game: Life is What U Make It 

It was created by 14-year-old Osmond Gordon-Vernon, who has lived on the estate in Battersea his whole life.

The game focuses around young people tempted to join a gang, and seeks to show them how living on the right side of the law is the better option.

Players reach a part of the board called the ‘Gang Member Strip’, where they chose whether or not to live a life of crime.

Those who chose the gang option have a number of obstacles thrown in their way, which those who choose an honest life manage to avoid.

As well as serving as an educational tool for young people, the game is also intended to enlighten adults as to what it is like growing up on the estate.

Wandsworth Guardian:

Osmond said: "The game asks you what you want to make of yourself.

"It shows that being a gang member might sound exciting, but that choosing to live legitimately brings about much better outcomes.

"I have based it around my own experiences, and I think that when adults play it they will be surprised about some of things they learn."

Osmond invented the game as part of a Battersea Arts Centre scheme called The Agency.

The project helps 15 to 29-year-olds develop ideas for projects, businesses, or events in the local area.

Osmond, who joined The Agency in September last year, spent 24 weeks developing Life is What U Make It.

In December he pitched the idea to a panel and was successful in securing £2,000 worth of funding to make the game.

Wandsworth Guardian:

On Tuesday, March 8, Osmond held a testing session at York Gardens Library in Battersea.

He said: "My ambition is for it to be played in my community, in schools, youth clubs and homes.

"I would also like it to spread into other communities and for it to eventually go global.

"More importantly I hope that it will impact on the lives of people who play it and help them to make positive decisions."

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