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Rugged Rovers at the Science Museum wins 2015 International Play award

Rugged Rovers, a pioneering multi-player, multi-platform game available to play online and within the Science Museum, has won a coveted gold 2015 International Serious Play award.

The International Serious Play awards recognise outstanding examples of games that deliver high-quality engagement and learning opportunities for students, employees or those in other education or training situations.

Rugged Rovers was created as part of the Science Museum’s interactive Engineer Your Future exhibition and invites players to design and race their own space rover across a Mars-inspired landscape. The principal aim of both the Engineer Your Future exhibition and the Rugged Rovers game is to boost the number of teenagers and young adults taking an interest in engineering careers. The game was an immediate hit for both Science Museum and online visitors alike, and over 1 million rovers have now been launched since the exhibition opened 7 months ago.

Dave Patten, Head of New Media at the Science Museum, said:

“We’re thrilled with the award. Teenagers are a challenging audience for museums to connect with but Rugged Rovers is beautifully simple and is proving immensely popular. This is the first time we’ve invited visitors to use their own devices to directly interact with a gallery exhibit and around 1,000 rovers are launched every month in this way. It’s fascinating to see how visitor engagement is changing.”

Phil Stuart, Creative Director at Preloaded, said:

“Games are increasingly recognised as a powerful medium for learning and we’re really proud to collaborate with the Science Museum on this forward-thinking project. Data from the game shows us that visitors design, test and improve their rover four times. People are naturally adopting an engineering mindset as they play.”

For information and images please contact Rosie Wilson in the Science Museum Press Office via 020 7942 4364 or

Notes to editors

About the Engineer Your Future gallery at the Science Museum

Engineer Your Future opened at the Science Museum on 17 December 2014 and will run for three years.

Engineer Your Future was designed by award winning exhibition designers Casson Mann. The exhibition has been generously supported by a consortium including ABB, BT, EDF Energy, IBM, Mott MacDonald, National Grid, Network Rail and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, with additional support from the Royal Academy of Engineering and EngineeringUK.

Engineer Your Future is part of the Science Museum’s pledge to support the Your Life campaign, which aims to boost the number of young people studying physics and mathematics.

In Rugged Rovers, players put their problem-solving skills to the test, designing a vehicle that can travel the furthest across a challenging alien landscape and competing against others rovers, some designed by a real Mars rover engineer. This interactive game can be played by up to eight players on a giant 3.5 x 2m screen in the exhibition, or as a single-player game online and on mobile devices (available for iOS and Android), and was designed by Preloaded, a BAFTA winning applied game studio.

  • Combined iOS and Android downloads of 132,500
  • Average session time of 16 minutes
  • 1,325,000 rovers launched

About the Science Museum

As the home of human ingenuity, the Science Museum’s world-class collection forms an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical achievements from across the globe. Welcoming over 3 million visitors a year, the Museum aims to make sense of the science that shapes our lives, inspiring visitors with iconic objects, award-winning exhibitions and incredible stories of scientific achievement.

About Preloaded

Preloaded is a BAFTA-winning applied games studio that create games which empower, educate and transform behaviour.

Preloaded work with a roster of international museums, cultural institutions, broadcasters, educators, publishers, health organisations and corporations, creating games which have touched on subjects as diverse as neuroscience, drug addiction, mental health, ancient history, literacy, genetics, death and philosophy.

Their HQ is in London, but they also play out of New York.