Higher or lower - How well do you know Glasgow?

11 June 2018

Jessica Watson looks at our new ‘Higher or Lower’ game, an engaging way to use data to investigate how neighbourhoods across Glasgow compare.

Recent community engagement events have trialled our ‘Higher or Lower’ game, using statistics from Understanding Glasgow to investigate how neighbourhoods across the city compare – and how well we actually know our own neighbourhood. For example, in Glasgow 40.4% of households are single parent families – but is the figure for Bridgeton/Calton higher or lower? It’s a useful and fun way of engaging the public with the stats we use on a daily basis and for stimulating discussion about the perceptions and realities of communities across Glasgow.

Paper higher or lower

Previously we’ve used a very handmade paper version, but recently commissioned a design agency, Pidgin Perfect, to come up with a more engaging and importantly, robust, version of the game.

Making the game

This work has been going on behind the scenes for a few months, with a lot of thought going into how the different topic areas would be represented, how we would ‘reveal’ the local area stat, what the overall tool would look like, and how it would work.Cardboard higher or lower

A few weeks ago we met up to look over some mock-ups of the graphics and a cardboard model, to give us an idea of how it would all come together, and for us to provide feedback and some final tweaks.

The final product is now finished and ready to go! Each square represents a different indicator, from young people living within 400m of greenspace, to people limited ‘a lot’ or ‘a little’ by disability. Each section swivels to reveal the topic, associated graphics and the stats panel with a sliding ‘reveal’ for added drama! The stats are presented on a wipe-clean blackboard, allowing customisation for any neighbourhood in Glasgow.

The game has been getting out and about already, with a visit to the homework club at Bridgeton Community Learning Campus where it was put through its paces by pupils from Dalmarnock and Sacred Heart primary schools.

Official launch

The game was officially launched at the Glasgow Science Festival during Science Sunday at the Hunterian Museum which was a great opportunity for a road test and for us to figure out how this new version works in practice.

It was great to see everyone’s reactions to which stats they found surprising – it’s a good way to check assumptions about what different parts of the city are like. Surprises also got people thinking; we were often digging a bit deeper about to work out the stats are actually measuring and what they’re not. And not to mention the young person keeping our research jargon in check by asking ‘What’s poverty?’. A good question and one to add to our list of things to explain more clearly!

Blackboard higher or lowerFinal higher or lower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’ll be ample opportunity to put that list and the game to work: Science Sunday was just one of a number of community engagement activities we’ll be undertaking this year, building on our social science ‘speed dating’, IKEA pop-ups and Doors Open Days events. We’ve got more events coming in the Autumn, and we’ll be posting details of how to get involved via social media.

In the meantime, if you’d like to play the Higher or Lower game, please get in touch.

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About the author

Jessica Watson Knowledge Exchange and Community Engagement Officer

Contact
Jessica_2016_portrait

Jessica is the Centre's Knowledge Exchange and Community Engagement Officer in a joint post with the College of Social Sciences, University of Glasgow.

Jessica has a shared role, working on Community Engagement and Knowledge Exchange on behalf of the Olympia Social Research Hub, a joint office at Bridgeton Cross housing researchers from both organisations. 

Her academic background is in Medical Anthropology and she has previously held positions translating research into policy and practice both in and out of academia. 

Read all articles by Jessica Watson

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