Persona was my Final Major Project from my final year at Northumbria University. This followed on from my Exploration Project which was all to do with gender roles in toy design.
THIS PROJECT IS ALL ABOUT TRYING TO REDUCE THE GENDER DIVIDE THROUGH DESIGN
Problem – Gender stereotype toys reinforce self-fulfilling prophecy, that if you are told you should be a certain way, you act a certain way. Girls – your appearance matters. Boys – you should be masculine, being sensitive is wrong.
Solution – To tackle this issue I have designed a board game which teaches children that every personality trait in life can have a benefit in life, therefore showing them that they can be whoever they want to be through a fun medium!
Advice from validator – “I am a firm believer that board games for children should be primarily fun. Education can happen, but that should be secondary to the awesome experience.” (Patrick Otley, Former Hasbro Board Game Designer).
An extension of the Persona Brand. Each original character has 2 other versions connected from the game. These have been created to increase the longevity of Persona and for children to collect just like collecting all the traits in the board game.
“I really like all the different characters in the game, my 2 favourites and Roar and Hip. I like the look of them both and Hip is creative like me. My favourite part of the game is the scanning spaces, I like how they can be changed, it keeps the game exciting. It also doesn’t feel like the game lasts too long when your playing like some board games do.”
Sophie, age 13
“The game is really fun to play, the power cards make it competitive, I enjoy using them to take tokens off my sister. My favourite character was Hinge because its head opens and closes which is funny.”
Jack, age 10
“The kids loved the game, they looked like they had fun playing it and I especially like the fun little characters. Sophie is not that ‘girly’ and I don’t like seeing these toys that reinforce that she should look and act a certain way. She’s at an age now where she will be worrying about the way she looks. This game helps promote that any personality is positive which is definitely a benefit to me as a Mum trying to get my kids to just be themselves.”
Sharon, Mum to Sophie and Jack
“I’m really glad you decided to focus on creating a fun experience, that’s the most important aspect to any toy or a game. Totally approve of your testing and prototype iteration approach to the game development. it sounds like you have learnt a lot and been able to implement changes quickly. Your character designs look fun! The 3D versions especially so, really helps brings them to life.”
Patrick Otley, Former Hasbro Board Game Designer
“I agree with Paddy – fun has to be the primary experience, then everything else should fall into place. I like the iterative approach you have taken in developing the final outcome, with plenty of testing. It is lovely to think beyond the gameplay, especially when developing your own IP. Often the little spin-off products can be the ones that capture the imagination most. Scale is very important with collectibles, as is a range – but your plush are a good starting point.”
Erin Deighton, Former Hasbro Senior Play Futurist
This project was long and extensive. I went through a long process of testing and iteration which I blogged in detail, to find out how I came up with this game just follow the link here to all the blog posts to do with Persona – Persona Journey