Project Old Jewels launches mobile game application to preserve Singapore fading trades.


Project Old Jewels a bilingual trivia mobile game application and an informative website has made its  official launch yesterday afternoon at LifeLong Learning Institute.

The project aims to promote, preserve and pique the interest of younger generation in the fading trades in Singapore. Within the application it features a Songkok Maker, Lantern Maker, Embroidery master and Snake Charmer, providing interactive storytelling trivia games. 

Mr Vikram Nair, MP of Sembawang GRC who was invited as the Guest of Honour, during his opening speech he said that things do not last forever, and it is important for us to preserve them before it is too late. On top of that he felt that it was an amazing and meaningful event where younger generation gets to know these vanishing trades. 
Mr Vikram Nair and the Snake Charmer, Mr Yusuf Ular

Visitors also get a chance to engage with the trade masters and in activities such as lantern painting and photo taking with the Snake Charmer to learn more about the respective fading trades featured in the mobile game application. 

The mobile game application has a series of interactive storytelling trivia games. At the start of the games, the character discovers and old diary given to him by his grandfather. He is then brought to a virtual town which houses four traditional trade masters including snake charmer, songkok-maker, lantern-maker and Chinese embroidery maker, and he begins his culture discovery. 

On the informative website, there are articles on the various vanishing trades, interviews of the trade masters and videos of student learning the skills from these trade masters. There is also a glossary list cater for the young readers who are unfamiliar with certain terms.  

In a conversation with Songkok Maker, Mr Abdul Wahab, he proudly mentioned that he started learning Songkok making at the age of 4 and has been making it for about 50 years, he also emphasize that he is the last one standing in Singapore. When asked if the younger generation would take over his shop Mr Abdul Wahab said that, his eldest son has already mastered 90% of the skill, and would only take over when he can no longer manage the shop. 

The Project Old Jewels Team -
From left to right: Luan Hao Yue, Koh Cheng Jun, Wang Shu Ya, Wang Ruo Tong

Project Old Jewel is a final year project by Four third-year Ngee Ann Polytechnic student and it is also a well received project where it has been supported by a broad base of organisations, from the SG50 Committee to BreadTalk. 

From 2016 onwards, The Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Association (SFCCA) will adopt this project. Mr Kua Bak Lim, Chairman of the SFCCA research committee and special advisor for this project, explained the reasons for adoption, "Utilising modern technology as a tool to convey history and bring to life traditional culture is both creative and refreshing."

My Views

Project Old Jewels is definitely a project worth the attention. Singapore is developing so fast that these traits are vanishing so quickly that even before we get to know them, they are already gone. I would have to agree with team that "Singaporean nowadays are increasingly unlikely to venture not these businesses due to the rise in education levels and shifts in social norms." It's true, and its really sad that the younger generation do no appreciate such heritage that Singapore once had. 

During the launch, I also get to experience the mobile game application. When I first heard that it gonna be some quiz kind of game, it totally turns me off. I hate games that are so factual and unentertaining. However, I was really surprise by how the team manage to attract my attention by creating super adorable graphics and it also incorporates with mini game in it, so it does not bores me that much. I would say that it is really engaging and enriching, children is going to love this mobile application. 

What I didn't like about the application is that, it required a hell lot of space. Maybe it's just my phone since I only have 8Gb. It gonna be a one time thing, because the question a fixed, so once you completed and unlock all the challenges, you will say bye bye to the application. 

Lantern making. 

Songkoks made by Mr Adbul Wahab

Chinese Embroidery by Mr Jeffery Eng

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