Tokyo, 1980: Namco Ltd. launches the game "Pac-Man" on the market.
Mexico City, 1968: the "Fosbury" technique is introduced in the high jump discipline.
Athens, 1896: the first Olympic Games of the modern era are held.
Most of the time, to define a historical event, we simply state its place and date.
However, to go deep these elements alone are not enough: to better frame an event, it is essential to know the biography of the people who took part in it and thus to understand what motivations drove them to such those choices. Biography and motivations.
To invent the best-selling arcade game in history, it hadn't been enough for Toru Iwatani to sit in front of a slice of pizza. We have to know the deep disappointment he felt at the time towards the video game industry, which was only capable of creating "violent war games", and his conviction about the need to develop something that would also appeal to a female audience, until then totally extraneous.
We have to know who Dick Fosbury was, to understand how revolutionary his jump was. we must know that behind the gold medal and the world record, there is the same athlete who chose that discipline because he was not good at the others; and that technique, today adopted by everyone, is the same one that had made Fosbury an outcast, excluded by his companions who did not want to train with him and by the public who read the articles of a press determined to mock and deride him.
In 1894, during a conference at the Sorbonne University in Paris, Pierre de Coubertin proposed the revival of the Olympic Games, starting a new season for the sporting event as we know it today. But dates and places are not enough.
De Coubertin was a French pedagogue with a passion for sports education. After the experience of the Franco-Prussian war, he wanted to find a way to bring nations together, allowing them to confront each other in a context other than war.
"May joy and good-fellowship reign, and in this manner, may the Olympic Torch pursue its way through the ages, increasing friendly understandings among nations, for the good of a humanity always more enthusiastic, more courageous and more pure." Knowing the biography and motivations of Pierre de Coubertin, it is easier to understand the meaning of his words and the deep meaning of those Olympic Games that are much more than just "games".
L’11 e 12 febbraio 2020, cinque associazioni provenienti da Italia, Regno Unito, Spagna e Ungheria si sono incontrate a Palermo per dare il via al progetto “ESCAPE RACISM – Toolbox to promote inclusive communities”. Ma date e luoghi non bastano.
CEIPES, Coventry University, Associazione Culturale Eufemia, ASPAYM Castilla y Leon and Támaszpont Foundation, the five partners in the project, are organizations whose mission is to promote education and the development of skills that enable participation in a civil society capable of improving the living conditions of communities.
The main goal of the project is to combat racism and discrimination and to promote human rights among youth to build more inclusive communities. A "kit" will be created for youth educators who wish to approach the field of human rights, intolerance and racism prevention through non-formal and innovative methodologies, techniques and approaches.
For example, through an educational escape room.
And if biography and motivations are still not enough to understand that this is not just a game, all you have to do is to follow the project and take part in the initiative.