Wellington Scoop

Chrometoaster’s Game of Awesome wins German design award

Press Release – Chrometoaster
Game of Awesome, a card game created by Wellington design firm Chrometoaster to improve literacy and creative writing, has won a prestigious design award in Germany.

After an extensive evaluation process involving a panel of international judges, Game of Awesome is a 2018 Winner for Excellent Product Design in the Baby and Childcare category of the 2018 German Design Award. The German Design Award is the top international prize of the German Design Council and is one of the most well-respected design competitions in the world — it is held in high regard well beyond professional circles.

The German Design Award Jury commented “The humour and cool illustrations featured in Game of Awesome are a perfect fit with the proclivities of the product’s target group; plus the game impeccably fulfils its main purpose, which is to promote kids’ reading and writing abilities.“

Designed for the New Zealand Ministry of Education by Wellington-based Chrometoaster, the Game of Awesome uses an unconventional approach to address widespread literacy challenges by inspiring reluctant writers in year 5–8 (students aged 8–12), to start creative stories with confidence.

A jar of bogeys. A combat moa. Magnetic underpants. These are just some of the absurd and funny cards that make up the Game of Awesome. The game presents undefined pieces of a story, such as “Crisis” or “Expert”, then challenges players to choose inventive ideas from their hand of cards. These ideas become the building blocks of stories. Winning the game involves using card combinations in the most entertaining way.

The game features over 200 illustrated idea cards that can be gross, random, ordinary, mythical, scary or daring — to ensure gameplay and story writing is unexpected and fun. Wellington artist and illustrator Gavin Mouldey worked to make sure each illustration is packed with personality and has a subversive tone that appeals to kids.

Dave Turnbull, founder and experience director of Chrometoaster is thrilled that Game of Awesome is being recognised for its inherent design quality and how well it works to improve literacy for the kids playing the game. He is incredibly proud of the team that created Game of Awesome and seeing their work held in such high esteem by the German Design Award judging panel, knowing it was selected from a pool of premium design from around the world.

Dave explains that Game of Awesome was co-designed with direct input from students and teachers, and is founded on curriculum fundamentals and teaches techniques and concepts such as scene setting, character development and plot. There’s a lot more to this game than meets the eye.”

The comprehensive support material for teachers, makes the game a unique classroom resource for ‘getting started’, which is widely considered the hardest obstacle to overcome when beginning to write.

Aaron McKirdy, design director of Chrometoaster says “The challenge for digital-age kids, however, was to create something as enticing as the glowing screen. The Game of Awesome stands out, intentionally, as a disruptive take on an old format — card play. Its secret weapon is more than funny stories, it’s the social connection the kids have by playing it in a group. It is bonding, affirming, collaborative and creative. Teachers report the game quickly delivers serious learning outcomes, almost by stealth — as it doesn’t seem like conventional schoolwork,”
Published under Creative Commons licensing by the Ministry of Education, the game includes many alternative rules and is available to all New Zealand schools. It can also be downloaded for free.

The German Design Award is a globally recognised awards competition where the German Design Council regularly pays tribute to the best players within their disciplines. Whether it’s product design, architecture, communications design or brand management, it discovers, honours and promotes first-rate design. The Awards Ceremony took place on February 9, 2018, in Frankfurt, Germany, at the Ambiente Fair.

Game of Awesome also recently won the 2017 Australian Good Design Award® of the Year, along with winning the overall Communication Design category, and Print sub-category, the Product Design Sport & lifestyle sub-category, and an award in the Social Innovation section of the 2017 Australian Good Design Awards.

Previously, the game won a prestigious Purple Pin award for the Best Public Good design in the 2016 Design Institute of New Zealand Best Awards. Recently it was shortlisted for the Landmark Social Design category in the UK’s Design Week awards.

“The continued success of this project and the impact we’re hearing about from schools has been overwhelming. We hope to take this game and work with other governments to address literacy issues in countries and communities outside New Zealand,” says Dave Turnbull.

The German Design Award Jury statement for Game of Awesome can be found here.
About Chrometoaster

Founded in 1999, Chrometoaster is an award-winning, independent, multidisciplinary design firm that specialises in solving public sector problems with leading-edge design and digital engineering. Based in Wellington, with a recently established office in Melbourne, Chrometoaster works with some of the largest organisations in New Zealand and Australasia to promote co-design, address wicked problems and transform the interface between government and the public.

About the German Design Award

The German Design Award is the top international prize of the German Design Council. Its goal: to discover, present and honour unique design trends. Therefore, every year, top-quality entries from product and communication design are rewarded, all of which are in their own way ground-breaking in the international design landscape. Launched in 2012, the German Design Award is one of the most well-respected design competitions in the world and is held in high regard well beyond professional circles.

The German Design Award sets the highest standards when it comes to selecting the prize-winners: in the nomination process, panels of experts from the German Design Council invite only those products and communication design services to participate in the competition that demonstrably set themselves apart from their competitors thanks to their design quality.

This year there were more than 5,000 entries, 49% of them in the area Excellent Product Design and 51% in the area Excellent Communications Design. 2,420 entries came from abroad in the 2018 awards.

The jury of the German Design Award 2018 is made up of design experts from various disciplines. They come from the world of business, education and science as well as the design industry and are recognised leading authorities in their respective fields.

The German Design Council

The German Design Council is one of the world’s leading competence centres for design. Created by the German Parliament and sponsored by German industry, it has been supporting companies on all matters relating to brand and design development for over 60 years and works to promote German design as a national economic factor. It plays a key role in shaping Germany’s design culture and offers a unique forum for knowledge transfer in the field of brand and design expertise.


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