Genetically, humans are 99.9% the same.
Greg Acuna, a TPP seed and Impact grant awardee, starts off his recent TEDx Panaji talk, “A game to inspire kindness and unite the world” with this illuminating fact. The founder of Planet Earthlings, a project that seeks to spread kindness through games, Acuna recalls how important it was for him to get his message across effectively to his audience in Panaji, Goa, India: “For this particular talk I felt I needed to remember it word-for-word because it was a carefully constructed piece of rhetoric approaching an extremely important, but sensitive set of issues from a view which would challenge many age-old ideas…”
One age-old idea that Acuna challenges is that the teaching of kindness must be serious and sacred, and therefore cannot be taught through the use of games.
What Acuna has found, though, is that this is absolutely not the case.
“Kids who have played the games get excited and passionate as they feel the power of playing games which bond them with others in a powerful way. The feedback/testimonials we’ve been receiving over the past months about the game have been tremendous. I’m convinced we really have created something which can help schools with bullying and even school violence. I believe these types of games get to the core underlying challenges causing these problems which not only impede education but can destroy the lives of young people.”
Acuna’s Acting Kindly @ School game has arrived in the United States after its 2017 debut in India. He’s working on ways to promote the game in schools. He is the first to admit, though, that this project has been a challenge.
“Working on something rather revolutionary like gamifying kindness and with long-term goals like trying to help schools get at the root of bullying is truly difficult. Finding support for this kind of work is hard because what we are doing is new and the solution isn’t immediate. I want to share this because I hope others will understand they are not alone.”
Acuna hopes that this TEDx Panaji talk will help spread the word about Planet Earthlings and his desire to awaken kindness in kids the world over through gaming. For now, though, he’s happy that his talk was successful in teaching his listeners that, at a fundamental level, we are all very much the same.
“In the end it was an incredibly exciting event and was pleased that the audience was passionate enough to have me called back to the stage after finishing. I do hope it opens minds and helps in some small way with making the world more peaceful.”
To support Greg Acuna and Planet Earthlings, visit: planetearthlings.org
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