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Game Changers


Judging Feedback

The jury have made their deliberations and we are pleased to announce our winners. We received 90 top notch entries from 29 countries, and thank all the entrants for taking part and contributing to an array of exciting game concepts. DESIGN 21 and UNESCO also thank D21 Advisory Board members Emily Pilloton and Richard Hutton for lending their time and expertise to reviewing the entries, selecting finalists and their individual Judge's Picks.

Juror Emily Pilloton said: Overall, I was impressed by the breadth of the entries and their focus on issues ranging from the systemic to the everyday. A few common threads were the use of games to educate individuals about environmental issues, sustainability, and their footprint. Some entries took a look at the role of play in education, which I found particularly interesting. As a collective body of work, the entries showed a prioritization of shared experiences and building awareness around issues through play. I would have liked to seen games that were simpler in concept, but broader in application, rather than the more prescribed, specific game rules that many required. In all, however, congratulations to all entrants for thinking of play as a tool for social impact!.

First Place

be-B : Braille Education Ball by Danielle Pecora (U.S.A.) was selected by our judges Emily and Richard for First Place and wins a $2000 cash prize.

Explaining her entry, Danielle wrote: I believe that design has the power to shape how we live and to improve the quality of lives. People with special needs are often overlooked when it comes to designing a product and I realized that this was no exception when looking at the small selection of toys specifically targeted to the needs of a blind child. The aim of be-B is to create a fun and interactive learning experience for children learning Braille and to invite sighted users to learn about another way of seeing the world.

Emily Pilloton had this to say about their choice: The be-B project is an exceptional concept, as it succeeds in combining purposeful aesthetics with an empathetic approach that sheds light on the experience of being visually impaired. It does so, however, in an inclusive and playful way for both the "blind and sighted," as a language that might bridge individuals through shared communication. While the object itself is a toy, rather than a set of game rules, it stood out for its flexibility and adaptation to a number of play scenarios (while the designer posited a few potential games, it suggests that it is very much open to interpretation by the user). Lastly, I love that even without explanation, be-B is a tactile and graphically engaging object that could easily be enjoyed and "figured out" in playful ways..

Second Place

Wheelchair Driving Simulator by Elad Goldshmidt (Israel) was selected for Second Place by Emily and Richard. Elad wins a $1000 cash prize.

Explaining his entry, Elad wrote: My initial thought in this project was very far from the result - all I was interested in was testing an original intuitive controller. The original and "Gamer-like" concept was to set the game in a dark hospitalized world, where the medical staff (zombies?) are actually the bad ones, and the disabled hero's goal is to fight his way out of the maze. I was captivated by the idea that the "poor" handicapped person is actually the action hero who gains control over the hostile environment. I found the metaphor rather empowering, and also imagined a scenario where a (real life) disabled player will actually find the game easier then the ordinary player. I intend to invest the prize in further development, as I hope this prototype will grow into a product that can be placed in museums and hospitals and inspire players and answer questions regarding "who is able".

Emily Pilloton had this to say about the entry: I was drawn to the Wheelchair Driving Simulator because it allows us to learn by doing, and by walking in someone else's shoes (or in this case, rolling in someone else's chair). The video game interface makes the experience fun and approachable (everyone loves a racing game!), but brings to light an experience that few of us have to grapple with, or perhaps have even thought about. The simulation game is compelling as well because it implies it may have applications as a physical training tool for new wheelchair users.

Most Popular

Go Go Recycle by Fazri Aziz (Indonesia) was selected as the most popular entry by you - the members of DESIGN 21.

About Competitions

The DESIGN 21 series challenges designers of all disciplines to find solutions to social and global issues. It’s guided by UNESCO’s premise that education, science, technology, culture and communication are tools to spread knowledge and information, build awareness and foster dialogue.

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