Philip Triatna & Julie Tane: Educating through Games

Story By
Cita Arsita Farani

Teaching children positive values through board games created by this husband and wife team.

Philip and Julie never thought they would be creating educational games for children. “We didn’t even like kids,” Philip admitted with a laugh. But watching so much bad news along with violence-filled shows and games made them think about what they could do to improve Indonesia. They arrived at the conclusion that there’s no better way than to start from the children, specifically to educate them on positive values and culture.

This has to be done in a fun way so it can be better ingrained instead of passing on boring teachings, because playing games is the brain’s favorite way of learning. It also needs to encourage socializing with others. With their background as training consultants and board game players, plus Julie’s delightful cartoon illustrations, the first “Semakin Berdetak” or increasingly exciting, game was born.

“There are a lot of games from outside Indonesia, both digital and traditional, but quality games that teach morals and a positive attitude to kids are lacking,” Philip said. Despite the apparent addiction to digital games among kids, Philip and Julie have proven that their excitement remains high when playing traditional board games together with others. In fact, they want to play the games repeatedly, which supports the learning process through repetition. “We don’t even have to be there in person,” he added. “Anyone anywhere can teach people how to play.” True enough, the games are simple and quick to learn, with both original and modified elements adapted from charades, snakes and ladders, monopoly, and others.

Their website, idetak, includes board games, card games, merchandise, books and unique plush toys, one of which has interchangeable parts. A free application titled “Anak Detak” is available for android users with cartoon sketch videos. The theme of their products mainly revolves around positivity, from daily life to financial lessons, along with Indonesian culture, animals and cuisines. “Kids need to know their own nation to love it and be proud of it,” Julie said. The games used to be available exclusively in Indonesian language, but the animal character card game includes an English translation and they’re planning to do more. “We want to start introducing Indonesia to the world,” she added.

Aside from distributing the games and toys through their own website, various schools, volunteers and communities, the husband and wife team has been working in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia, allowing them to reach even remote schools. They have also created customized training board games for professionals at the request of several companies and educational videos for non-profit organizations.