We’ve all played board games of the generic kind as kids but little did we know that board games actually help enhance creativity and catalyse logical thinking. Children can actually learn about the world, its diversity and the challenges it is facing.
CQ Games, a city-based startup aims to build on the intellect and thinking ability of children by inventing board games that encourage them to get away from addictive screens and interact instead. Founder in 2015, this innovation focused startup was founded by Shrikrishna Bapat and his daughter Suchitra Bapat.
“Today, play is a very organised and supervised activity. It wasn’t that way when I was growing up. We also found that everything was very segregated, some for girls and some for boys. For girls, it is all about beauty and for boys it is all about being a hero. It’s nobody’s fault really, but this is how things have been. I’ve always loved games and puzzles so we created a few games that we’d try at home,” explains Suchitra Bapat, who brainstormed with her father and started off with five products.
CQ stands for Creative Quotient. The motto of CQ Games is for kids to play smart through the 12 games they’ve created. To achieve this, they have four different categories of games branded Travel Smart, Math Smart, Cyber Smart and Beyond Smart. Travel Smart includes games that can be played while travelling or on the move. Math Smart induces logical thinking through innovative games like ‘Foxed’ and ‘Cat Snapper’, which have been wittily designed to engage children in mental calculation. Cyber Smart is a unique initiative to educate children about cyber safety and cyber bullying. Games like ‘Webscape’ and ‘E-trapped’ teach children about being aware of predators on the internet. To enhance creativity and imagination, Beyond Smart includes games like ‘How in the World?’, ‘Quinces’ and ‘Bag-O-Tales’. These games build on the storytelling and vocabulary skills.
“Cyber crimes have become really common in the digital age. Children are equipped with phones and tablets so we create games wherein we give them situations to make them understand what is right and what is wrong. We pick the problems plaguing society and make children understand them through play,” says Rajvi Dalal, Director, CQ Games.
To widen their horizon, Dalal and Bapat, the former a finance professional and the latter a software professional, exhibited the games at Spielwarenmesse, the world’s biggest toy fair that takes place in Nuremberg, Germany this year. “Attending the fair changed our perspective completely. In terms of concept, there is so much innovation going on. When we came back from there, we had a vision about what we want CQ Games to be. We got feedback from a Russian game company. They were surprised to see innovation from an Indian stall,” explains Dalal.
The pricing of the games has been done in such a way so that it can be accessible to all. CQ Games has tied up with Cuemath, a certified math learning program, to make learning more interactive through games. Along with this, Bapat and her team regularly conduct workshops in schools enhance imagination and creativity among children.
The future of CQ Games sees itself surely expanding within India. Bapat elaborates, “We are in talks with several educational organisations to give tools to explain concepts to children from underprivileged backgrounds. The other aspect of expanding is also addressing today’s needs through the games. We cannot be confined to what sells and what doesn’t. It’s an ongoing battle!”
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