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A board game for restorative circle

ResQ is a design intervention developed during a systems project at NID to bring in restorative justice practices for reformation in the Juvenile Justice System in India.

ResQ provides counselors, parents, and adults a tool/method of conducting restorative circles for children. A restorative circle brings together people in a situation of conflict and initiate a conversation as equals to see a situation in its entirety and decide further course of action. This game is intended to improve community building amongst children and build an understanding of their actions and consequences.

Team : Aishwarya Narvekar, Aishwarya Rane, Kamal, Pankaj



The journey of ResQ started during an academic project at NID - Juvenile Reforms by Design. As designers, the role of children and their journey in the complex system of justice and reformation intrigued us.

Looking at children as our core stakeholders, we tried to study this system with a human-centered approach trying to understand what drives the process of reformation inside, for the children. 

One of the factors for children getting caught in unlawful activities was the ignorance of the law and social conduct, which was seen in children throughout irrespective of class or society.


Restorative Circles aims to open up this discussion and make them see things from different perspectives and bring to the table the consequences and the picture. It aims to instill a sense of empathy, socio-emotional learning among the children and work on how to control and express emotions.

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-A very important part of the restorative circle is active participation by everyone in the process.

- Used gamification to bring the group together, establish ground rules and create a safe space for discussion.

-First prototype to bring in a restorative circle was modeled on UNO cards. Each of the four colors of the deck had different types of questions - icebreaker activities, questions/ prompts to encourage understanding, reflection, and resolution around a topic.

 -The subsequent prototypes designed as a board game with a path to cross addressed the issue and some others.


ResQ is a 6 players board game in which each player completes their journey across the board while tackling some questions and tasks along the way.

Each game is based on a certain topic and the underlying aim of the game is to discuss the topic, the severity of the issue and methods to resolve it.

In the game, the board holds the counters of the players and dictates depending on the color of the piece on which the counter lands what card the child gets. It helps maintain the narrative from activities to reflection

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The final version of the game was tested in an Observation Home in Ahmedabad.

Just like any other game, a sense of competition took over soon, and the biggest challenge was to make the children curate the content of the conversations the game starts. 

Once the game was in motion active participation was seen in all the physical tasks. Slowly as the game proceeded, children played the game for the conversations rather than simply to gain points.

The officials also showed interest in being part of the game, and promote conversation. While this was an emotional and thoughtful journey for the children playing, it gave many valuable insights to the counselor who had not been told about this by the children before.

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