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Pupils brainstorm ideas for new CBBC Sci-Fi based game show

2018-04-05T14:58:57+00:00 November 3rd, 2017|
Television researchers visited Bradford Grammar School to gather feedback from pupils, aged 10 to 14, about a brand new CBBC show, filming in December, and airing in January.

The show, entitled ‘Last Commanders’ is an adventure packed, Sci-Fi inspired, game show and is brand new to the screen. David Kerr and Gez Sharp, researchers from ‘Objective Media’ brainstormed with a number of groups of children. David explains the premise, “It’s been in development for two years now. Children play from the safety of their own homes using laptops with inbuilt cameras and escape room units. This is so that we can capture all the kids’ reactions through the camera.”

“Their objective is to direct a commander through multiple levels who’s locked on a space station, which is escape room game inspired, very reminiscent of shows like the Crystal Maze, Fort Boyard and Raven. Ultimately, we’re trying to integrate shows like Gogglebox and video games, which are becoming increasingly popular. Many children love gaming and watch video game playing on YouTube so it’s combining the element of fantasy in a safe zone where children can learn and have lots of fun!”

Pupils saw the trailer for the show, fed back their ideas and played fun games involving teamwork skills. BGS pupil Florence Harvey, aged 11 from Bradford said, “I thought it was so good because you really got a taste of what you could do in the game. It is really interesting and intense in a good way because you feel like you’re the commander. It was also exciting to be one of the first people ever to see the trailer for it as part of the session.”

David explains how young people develop and learn through the process, “The children have to use their initiative, talk the commander through his or her actions systematically and tell them what they would like them to do to escape a certain room. It could be a futuristic jail cell or sewage system that they have to navigate, with thrilling problem solving at its best, whilst using tools and being pursued by aliens, mutant, cyborgs and space pirates. It’s really good fun, challenging and very exciting!”

After the feedback session and short Q and A David and Gez then gave a quick talk on what it is like working within the television industry. Both researchers find that young people have fantastic and intuitive ideas, Gez explains, “Young people’s imaginations are amazing – it’s nice to get their feedback on ideas we’ve already come up with which is comforting but they offer you new, fresh ideas at the same time. What is interesting is seeing what we may think is scary as an adult may not be scary to kids so when asked how we can make the cyborgs scarier they have great, inventive ideas that we would never think of. The space weapons for the show is a great discussion because they have such different ideas on tools they could use to escape and rescue their commander.”

“We’ve visited a substantial amount of schools across the country and honestly couldn’t have asked for a better experience. It’s been a real pleasure and the pupils were incredibly enthusiastic, articulate and respectful. They were also extremely engaging giving 100 per cent when it came to ideas and feedback. From the initial enthusiasm when you walk into a classroom and you feel their responsiveness, then you get such useful feedback – it really assists us in realising and producing the best possible television programmes we can. It’s great!”

Taking part in the research for ‘Last Commanders’ also means that BGS pupils will be considered as potential contestants when the show airs.

“We’ve visited a substantial amount of schools across the country and honestly couldn’t have asked for a better experience. It’s been a real pleasure and the pupils were incredibly enthusiastic, articulate and respectful. They were also extremely engaging giving 100 per cent when it came to ideas and feedback.

From the initial enthusiasm when you walk into a classroom and you feel their responsiveness, then you get such useful feedback – it really assists us in realising and producing the best possible television programmes we can. It’s great!”

 

Gez Sharp, Television Researcher

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