NZ Educational Card Game Wins Top Australian Design Award

Friday 16th June 2017 – Wellington, NZ

Press Release: Chrometoaster

Chrometoaster team wins Australian Good Design Award® of the Year (Flickr). Photo credit: Good Design Australia

Game of Awesome, a card game created by NZ design firm Chrometoaster to improve literacy and creative writing, has won the top design award in Australia. It is the first time NZ designers have won the prestigious Australian Good Design Award® of the Year.

After an extensive evaluation process involving more than 35 international judges, Game of Awesome took the top prize and was lauded for exemplary design on every level. Hundreds of high-calibre entrants from across the globe were narrowed down to a handful of finalists that included US motor company Tesla, digital cinema innovators Blackmagic and consultants Deloitte, among other notable international brands.

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 explains “It's more than just fun and games. 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.

Good Design Australia announced the 2017 winners at the Good Design Awards Ceremony on June 8 at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Sydney.

The Good Design Awards Jury commented “Best in class design from every aspect. Not only is this a beautifully designed object from a product design perspective, it is helping our educate our younger generation in a very unique and innovate way. Love this thing! The Jury recognises the design thinking baked into this project at the deepest level. Its playfulness, creativity, insightfulness and accessibility absolutely nails good design.“

For only the second time in the programme’s history, Good Design Australia announced a tie for Good Design of the Year. Chrometoaster, the only NZ company ever to have been awarded this accolade, shares the win with global engineering and infrastructure advisory firm Aurecon and architects Cox Architecture, who designed flood-resistant, accessible ferry terminals.

“Good design is about making our lives better, safer and happier. It extends to everything around us — from the products we use in our daily lives and the services we interact with to the buildings we live and work in — they can all be improved through better design. That’s what lies at the heart of these Awards,” said Dr Brandon Gien, CEO of Good Design Australia and Chair of the Good Design Awards program.

Game of Awesome also won 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 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 has been nominated for the elite German Design Awards in 2018 and 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.

View the 2017 Good Design awarded entries here. Official award photography here.

Game of Awesome can be freely downloaded under the Creative Commons licence.

Images of the game can be downloaded here, and explanatory videos viewed here.

About the Australian Good Design Awards

The Australian Good Design Awards date back to the 1950s and have an enviable record of unearthing globally recognised talent and products. The programme is recognised as one of the oldest and most respected design awards in the world today. Good Design Australia is committed to promoting the value and benefits of design to business, industry, government and the general public and to help foster a culture of design, creativity and innovation in Australia and internationally.

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.

For enquiries:

Dave Turnbull

+64 4 472 0570

View the Google Doc version of this release.