Design of a Serious Game to Create Awareness about Critical Raw Materials
The goal of this project was to create a tool that could help raise awareness about critical raw materials. Critical raw materials, or materials with high economic importance and significant supply risk, have been receiving increased attention in recent years. As this project is conducted for Dutch companies, the project focuses on critical raw materials as defined by the European Union.
In order to develop the tool, literature research was conducted on the topic of critical raw materials and product design. The major takeaway from the analysis was that there is no clear-cut solution to dealing with critical raw materials. A tool exploration phase led to a serious game being selected as the vessel to transfer knowledge about critical raw materials.
Concept & Evaluation
The game was developed from six initial design directions. Game methodology was used to assess the developed concept. The process was iterative, with each session building off the other. A total of eight product evaluation sessions were conducted for the game. Sessions were done with future users of the tool, academics from business and design, and industry and government representatives. While the first four sessions focused mainly on the game play rather than content, the last four were designed to evaluate the game on its knowledge content and learning outcomes.
In the Loop: The Critical Raw Materials game is the final result of the evaluation sessions. It is a board game where players are presented with critical raw material issues as they try to produce products. Players must make strategic choices to avoid bankruptcy, continue making their product, and win. Product cards allow customization of game play to the users while material cards provide more information and greater depth to the subject. The tool’s ability to instigate discussion about the topic of critical raw materials would be beneficial to the FME-CWM Association, as it would lead to increased awareness.
Following graduation, The game was further refined and the game’s production was crowdfunded.
Katherine A. Whalen
master thesis, August 2013