Figure it Sprout, a video game designed by a group of UW–Madison students working out of the School of Education’s Game Lab, housed in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, won the Jennifer Ann’s Group 2023 Critical Thinking Game Design Challenge.
The game, designed by students David Li (design), Quang Nguyen (programming), Gaby Sanchez (writing and art), Kitty Huang (writing and art), and Isaac Orozco (music), was selected along with two other games as winners of the challenge. Figure it Sprout allows the player to plant and learn about their own garden, and earn points depending on what they grow.
The Critical Thinking Game Design Challenge is presented by Jennifer Ann’s Group’s Gaming Against Violence program, which has gained widespread recognition for its groundbreaking approach to violence prevention. By harnessing the interactive nature of prosocial video games, the challenge seeks to promote thoughtful problem-solving, empathy, and positive social behaviors among players through a trauma-informed lens.
According to the design team for Figure it Sprout, “As fledgling designers, this project from Jennifer Ann’s Group provided us with the perfect opportunity to try our hands at making a game for change. Our experience was at times challenging but overall deeply rewarding. We are so proud of Figure it Sprout, and grateful to the 2023 game design judges for their time, feedback, and commendations.”