Monster Problems: Co-creating a ‘serious’ game

Spring 2019 I was contacted by the municipality of Groningen. Their Kids Council is involved with serious topics and currently they had discussed poverty for kids and their families. They wanted to make a game out of it. Could I help? Together with a co-designer I asked to join, Robert Brouwer, we set out with the group to see what the topic is, what kind of game we could create and what design restrictions there are.

The result is a ‘serious’ card game for age 8 and older, in which players learn about problems caused by poverty and potential solutions for such situations. This is done by seeing text one side of the cards, the other side shows monster heads (problems) and limbs (solutions) that can be combined if they are of the appropriate color (type). The design challenge was to make use of all the information the Council had gathered and have the game be playable by kids without a parent, teacher or other supervisor to direct them or teach.

This was a co-creation production with fellow designer Robert Brouwer, the municipality of Groningen and their Kids Council. Drawings were made by the Kids Council, under art direction of Robert. Graphic design and art implementation done by Marco Westerkamp, who really enhanced the looks of it! The game will be distributed to primary schools in the city.

It was a blast to do and we are proud on the results! 


News bulletin of the Municipality on the project during development: Raad van Kinderen bedenkt armoede-monsterspel | Gemeente Groningen And more about the gameplay can be read here on boardgamegeek.

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