MDes student project launched as a commercial board game at the 2019 Cryptochicks Hackathon & Conference


What initially began as a three-week material exploration project for York University Master of Design (MDes) student, Christine O’Dell, has now evolved into a commercial project launching worldwide on June 2nd 2019.

In David Cabianca’s Design Studio: Culture and Criticism, graduate students were tasked with developing investigative methods for design research through a series of four projects focused on a topic chosen by each student. Fascinated by blockchain technology and consistently asked “What is Blockchain?”, Christine set out to explore the role of education and design as methods to advance its mainstream understanding and adoption.

Focused on communicating this complex idea visually and effectively resulted in the creation of Blockopoly. Based on the Monolopy board game principles, Blockopoly’s premise is to educate the public, from youth to seniors on the fundamental basics of blockchain technology. Choosing to use a universally familiar board game to serve as a basis ensures an established understanding and comfort with game engagement. The creation of a board game is not a novel invention, however, using the board game as a tool in Blockchain education is an innovative new method to understand Blockchain beyond complex cryptographic algorithms - numbers and letters, and fills the void for engaging Blockchain educational resources. Addressing this issue from a design lens, Christine wanted to combine game design and play with education to facilitate a more engaging, interactive learning platform.

Partnering with the CryptoChicks, a global non-profit organization dedicated to empower and inspire women in the technology sector, Blockopoly, the MDes project has now evolved into CryptoWhales, the commercial board game to be launched at the 2019 CryptoChicks Hackathon and Conference on June 2nd 2019. Along with Cryptochicks team members, Christine will introduce and demo the Cryptowhales board game to attendees of the Crypto Fun Day which will be followed by the first CryptoWhales Tournament. Building upon Blockopoly’s foundation, the CryptoWhales board game teaches players about cryptocurrencies and the blockchain ecosystem in a fun, decentralized world while players build their own interoperable blockchain ecosystems in their quest to become a Crypto Whale. The takeaway from this experience is the following: any idea can spark innovation and when coupled with perseverance and collaboration can be brought into fruition.

For more information and press release on the CryptoWhales board game, please visit:

For more information on the launch of the CryptoWhales board game, please visit:

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