The Challenge:

Research question: How can the design of serious games change in order to create more awareness in their players’ minds?

The Solution:

Games for change are games which allow players to learn and interact with real world issues through play in order to motivate participants to better the world. The research of this thesis presents the use of serious games and casual games to measure and observe how awareness of children’s poverty is achieved with game elements.

The design process lead to the design of the game Happy Kids that is composed by five micro games that teach about refugee children’s rights according to the Children Rights Convention. The results of the evaluation showed a raised interest in children’s rights but ambiguity in feelings and behaviors towards the cause.

My role:

UX and UI designer

Project Details

Thesis Project I

Date May, 2015

Skills Game Design, UX, Wire framing, Prototyping

View Video

Cultural Probes

The cultural probes were designed with a particular aesthetic. They were made with playful typographies, diverse colors and used illustrations that kept the motif simple and lighthearted, inspiring the users to be more creative and less worried about children’s suffering. Cultural probe tasks also remained open-ended and allow for the participant to communicate any concern he/she has about the subject, in this case: refugee children rights.

Paper Prototyping

Sketching & Testing Prototypes

In order to do lo-fi prototyping for a game and create a strong concept confirmation it is important to test all possible approaches to game narratives and experiences. In this stage of the game development fast and sketch-like prototypes were made with different play experiences and avatars.

Wire framing & User Journeys

UI Design

The hi-fi prototype consisted on two different areas: the aesthetics of the game and mobile interactions in proto.io. The aesthetics of the game were designed to be very playful, based on the same character used in the cultural probes and the lo-fi prototypes. The design for the game had to be attractive and “fun” therefore it was decided to do a multi-color scheme with multiple icons and intrinsic illustrations.