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'Walking in a Whistler Wonderland' board game

I designed the game mechanics and artwork for this Christmas board game. It communicates the value of our family heirloom ('The Whistler') to a wider audience.

'The Whistler' is a small, broken, pre-GPS mapping gadget that has been passed around the family as a gag gift for over 25 years. Despite its useless functionality, it has become a cherished object in our family, collecting meaning over the years. The performance of re-gifting is a central ritual of 'The Whistler', and it involves feelings of closeness, nostalgia and mischief. Have a listen to some of my family talking about 'The Whistler'. The game Walking in a Whistler Wonderland captures the spirit of the gadget gift and the joys of family dynamics.

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'The Whistler'

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Walking In a Whistler Wonderland
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Board game close ups

Board game premise -

Festive love and cheer are in the air as the family is getting together for Christmas. Everyone is bringing lots of gifts, but one gift is to be avoided! Someone will try to re-gift the broken,1990s gadget, 'The Whistler'! Maybe they will even try and hide it under the Christmas tree! The aim of the game is to leave the family get-together as soon as possible to avoid receiving' The Whistler'.


Family members are not able to leave the get together until they offload their gifts, keeping the two gifts assigned to their character card. Each character can get rid of gifts by either putting them in the 'charity bag' or re-gifting them to other players. Whoever has 'The Whistler' when everyone else has gone home will be stuck with it until the following Christmas (and will lose the game!).


A process of board layout, visuals and character development

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