From PowerPoint to Global Impact: 
The Incredible Journey of Love Land

When I first developed Love Land the board game on PowerPoint years ago, I had no idea that I was not only creating a new world on paper but also sketching out the roadmap for a life journey to new shores and dimensions, the size and reach of which I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams.

I originally developed Love Land for my personal use in sex education in Swiss schools because, as a passionate teacher and learning therapist, I found the available teaching materials lacking in innovation, interaction, and originality. The video cassettes (!) from the 80s primarily conveyed one thing: prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, traditional gender roles, and very moralistic and heteronormative notions! Other media, like books and worksheets, were not much better: dripping with text and theory, and at best, sparsely enlivened with occasional illustrations. In short, not what I expected from a broad and inclusive sex education curriculum.

On a methodological level, I also missed the playful approach to often taboo topics. With Love Land, I wanted to create a playful and at the same time safe learning environment where young people could gain an overview of the diversity of sexuality, as well as tolerance, security, and knowledge. The concept seemed to work.

After Love Land became very popular in school classes, more and more teachers also showed interest in this pedagogically practical teaching material, which was ready-to-use and, on top of that, a lot of fun. Unfortunately, Swiss educational publishers saw things a little differently and showed very little interest in distributing Love Land.

A pity, but not a reason to give up. I took production and distribution into my own hands and sold a good number of Love Land copies in Switzerland. For me, the potential was thus fulfilled. However, life had other plans for me.

From Orangutans to Young Minds: An Unexpected Turn in Indonesia.

After resigning from my job at a sex education office, I wanted to enjoy my well- deserved sabbatical. A volunteer stint at an orangutan sanctuary in Indonesia was the plan. How did I come up with this idea back then? I have no clue! I had no special connection to monkeys, nor was Indonesia ever a dream destination of mine…The foundation Paneco based in Switzerland I contacted, unfortunately turned me down

but contacted me again a few days later to offer me a pilot project with Love Land – but with Indonesian young Homo sapiens, not orangutans…

Two weeks later, I was on a plane to Medan, not knowing that this stay would be the key to a huge change in my life. At first, nothing indicated this: Upon arriving in Medan, I was told that none of the 30 schools approached had responded. I was then driven far away from the city to the jungle to the orangutans for two weeks:

There they were again, these creatures that were about to catapult my life in a new direction..

The staff at the lodge seemed to know quite a bit about the newly arriving guest, and it didn’t take long before I was asked one afternoon if I might play Love Land with the entire lodge crew. What started as one afternoon turned into a daily, highly enjoyable ritual for all involved – including the orangutan biologist as the translator.

The local village school didn’t take long to follow suit and booked a Love Land session, then another, and soon my days were fully booked with Love Land sessions, and my name in the lodge was now “Miss Goomi Goomi” (notably, that’s the name of the condom island in Love Land).

Breaking Barriers: Love Land’s Success in Indonesian Schools.

.                                        .      

The time in the lodge was followed by equally exciting and wonderful weeks back in Medan, where, miraculously, all the previously contacted schools now expressed interest in our sessions. My biggest concerns – that Love Land, developed for the Swiss school curriculum, might cause conflicts in a Muslim country, that Muslim youth might have completely different questions, or that I, as a European, might not be able to build a bridge between two cultures – proved to be completely unfounded

The following sessions in the schools were characterized by mutual tolerance, great trust from the young people, teachers, school authorities, and all other involved persons, and above all, by incredible openness and interest from the young people. This is all the more remarkable because, unlike in Switzerland, where school classes have a maximum of 25 students, the schools we visited in Indonesia had up to 60 students. This posed a challenge in terms of the dynamics and moderation of the game, but much more, I was concerned about ensuring a safe learning environment for all present.

I had my doubts about whether individual students in such a large group would find the courage to ask questions or answer the questions in the game loudly and clearly. I had once again underestimated the potential of Love Land and playful learning: The saying “Playful learning builds bridges between cultures” hits the nail on the head.

Playful learning has a unique ability to connect people from different cultural backgrounds. And playful learning in a large group has enormous potential – it not only facilitates the learning process but also promotes collaboration, creativity, and social skills. In a dynamic group environment, participants can learn from each other, motivate each other, and make deeper learning experiences through shared experiences. Moreover, it can help to break down inhibitions and create a positive learning atmosphere and so our sessions were correspondingly open: there was laughter, questions, cheers, and learning – and we’re talking about sensitive and globally tabooed sex education content.    

From Startup Struggles to Strategic Partnerships: The Evolution of Love Land

After these weeks in Indonesia, the decision grew in me to make Love Land accessible to young people globally – but how? A board game is neither scalable nor can it be regularly updated or expanded without logistical chaos.

Highly motivated, I attended a startup course in Zurich: I wanted to be well- prepared for my future self-employment as a hopefully successful learning game developer. My level of motivation quickly plummeted after I presented my idea to the lecturers of this startup training. Surrounded by startup innovations like a computer for super-precision spinal surgeries or a locally acting cancer drug, my modest innovation of a gamified method for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and tolerance education towards gender diversity received devastating criticism from almost all the lecturers.

Almost all there was this JP Vuilleumier. Startup pioneer, pitch master, and known for his uncompromising feedback, I braced myself for his critique. Long story short: Out of his genuine interest in a global solution for a global problem came a first meeting outside the course, then his occasional support, the shared passion for South Africa, his growing capacities, and the conviction that with Love Land, we could give something back to society, and finally, a shared personal Love Land.

From Frustration to Fulfillment

JP was involved from the start in the transformation of the Love Land board game.

We both agreed that we wanted to develop a Love Land app. In a slightly different form than the board game, of course, which lived from group dynamics, but it couldn’t be that difficult to implement our already well- developed idea of an exciting island world, where the gamer could discover, solve realistic challenges, and learn, with a game design team. That’s what they are there for after all.

We believed until the first game design team we had meticulously instructed presented us with a quiz with an island background.

We still believed until the second team tried to sell us a moss-green pond with water lilies instead of sea and islands, and a hummingbird in a scout uniform with deafening whistles as the game tutor.

We still somehow believed until the third team alone preached to me that I had to learn to trust a team. What that meant was: Stay out of game development, we are the experts.


We no longer believed. We were on the verge of giving up when we decided to give one last chance to a South African team called Loud Rabbits.

in short: the first meeting with the game design leader lasted 10 minutes with the result of an intensive collaboration desired by both sides – content meets design – actually logical, right?

Four Years of Growth: Celebrating Love Land’s Journey and Our Incredible Team

Since that meeting, four years have passed. Our Loud Rabbits team consists of highly motivated and extremely talented young game designers who have made our idea into what we always wanted: A globally accessible and safe learning world that uses the enormous potential of playful learning to make knowledge and skills in the field of mental and sexual health accessible to young people, giving them the chance to realize their personal and economic potential.

And: The app became a multi-channel program, which also includes a website Transforming Love Land: Mastery with Loud Rabbits’ Game Design Expertise. From PowerPoint to Global Impact: The Incredible Journey of Love Land June 2024 5 with additional learning content and a Train-the-Trainer program.

The journey doesn’t end here: Love Land is continuously expanded with new topics and game levels through donations.

This is a good time to pause, look back, enjoy and appreciate what has been achieved. In this context, I would like to express my deep gratitude:

JP, who has always believed in me and Love Land, who continues to motivate and unconditionally support me. Love Land would not be where it is today without him.

Our game design team: Four years of passion and professionalism. I have never heard a “No, that’s not possible” in response to one of my sometimes impossible-to-implement ideas. . They always find a solution, are open and curious about new approaches, and handle the sensitive topics of mental and sexual health with incredible tact.

Advisory board: Thanks to this wealth of experts, we were able to develop Love Land both content-wise and technically with precision. We can also always count on the support of our board on the legal, financial, and psychological levels.

A huge thank you also goes to our donors and foundations, who not only support our project but have never been impressed by the unreflected voices that degrade our Love Land app to a sex app.

And of course, I also thank the orangutans, who somehow miraculously and inexplicably made their way into my thoughts back then and have given me this wonderfully rich life.

Karin Stierlin

Cape Town 10. June 2024

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