MA Design for Play project




Camilo Rodríguez, Marie Schleicch, Linea Larsen & Aditi Kabra

Kembo’s is a game that spark kids curiosity in book characters through battles. The idea is to conquer the throne of the library using book character and its powers, and win new objects of your opponents during the battle. The game borns to support and strengthen children's interest in reading, by creating better reading experiences, with the use of child-centered design.

The project fosters the intrinsic & unconscious motivation to reading, it speaks about each character and its powers, establishes characters and other elements associated with the character and provides an element of surprise by giving a little story.


_01 Entice
An arena located in the middle of the library, prepare a set of decks for each kid and organise the space.

_02 Guide
The librarian will be the facilitator to introduce the children in the game and support the play activity.

_03 Enter
The librarian facilitate the first arena fight and crowd the first conqueror to familiarize kids with the game.

_04 Free Play
Kids can use their deck outside in the way they like to... trading, fighting, challenging...

_05 Characters
The kid borrow a book and receives a random new deck of a character.

_06 Arena Fight
Kids fight for the throne using the rules that the arena has.

_07 Exit
The conqueror can have their image in the entrance of the library.

The game features 2 main elements: a main character from a book story, & 3 supporting objects that are relevant for the character through the story,

All characters and objects have 3 types of powers: Strenght, Intelligence & Heart. The idea is to conquer the throne of the library and win new power objects from your opponents.

The goal is to combine one character power with one object power to attack. If the sum of powers exceeds the opponents one, he/she win the object card and one point, the winner is the one who win more rounds and objects.


The entire research process starts with an intrinsic motivation to support and strengthen children's interest in reading, by creating better reading experiences. During the three months of work, I was able to start playing, observing and having conversations with childrens in a school in Denmark, and understand how might we spark kids curiosity in book stories through play. Below I evidence four (04) achievements in the process:

_The power of games

Using the research method Internship as a child, showed us that Games provides kids easy and constant interactions & rewards, same as digital environments do.

_The joy of reading is not reading

External/internal motivations guide kids to read unconsciously. They don’t always like to read, but they read for something else without even noticing it.

_Give me a teaser

Giving kids small advances of a story builds curiosity & common interest. They know what to expect. They had good experiences with it in the past.

_I like to win

Achievement is important to increase motivation, They need to know what to do to win and that the chances are fair. Kids are competitive, like to know how to win and have clear rules. If they don't see a possibility to win the can get upset.

Examples of different stuff created in the design process to understand and build game.