Print & Packaging
Designed to inspire children — specifically, those living with chronic health conditions, UP! is a game about reaching new heights and developing the skills to overcome personal and social challenges.
Brief & Objective
For young children living with a chronic health condition, progressing to full ownership of their self-management, and broadly speaking, their health can be challenging and confronting. Research showed that transitioning from childhood to adulthood (ages 8-14) is often a time when social stigma from feeling ‘different’ can arise, contributing to daily treatments being neglected. Evidence suggests that if a child is open about their condition with peers, their likelihood of engaging with their self-management can increase.
Existing tools developed by healthcare professionals recognise the importance of treatment but are often presented in unengaging ways that feel controlling and discourage children from speaking openly about their condition in social situations. As a response, I set out to design a tool that encourages children to feel open about their condition and become more confident to engage with the self-management of their health proactively. By developing self-management skills such as goal setting and problem-solving, a child with a chronic health condition can build self-efficacy (belief in oneself) for both personal and social situations.
UP! is a board game designed for 3-6 players and is based on the challenges of climbing a mountain. UP! puts players in control as they ascend the game’s three-dimensional board towards the mountain’s summit. The game combines elements of social cooperation and strategy, where just like real mountaineers, players create routes up the mountain made of pitons. Along the way, action and objective cards fuel friendly competition, while open-ended question cards prompt meaningful and comfortable discussion among players about their health, personal challenges and aspirations.
Guided by the openness of each player, UP! emphasises that health is holistic, an idea based on Te Whare Tapa Whā. UP! addresses the need for medically-focused tools to be child-centered, and less as a tool under the control of carers and healthcare professionals. With a mission to avoid being another tool that makes a child living with a chronic health condition feel different, UP! is designed to be inclusive and played by all children along the health spectrum. While the space of a child’s home will be the primary place of play, UP! also aligns with learning outcomes of educational spaces such as classrooms and in healthcare with professionals who work alongside children and families living with a chronic health condition.