Steps in the creation of the board game :
Last year our team started developing a board game with educational purposes, aiming mostly at the promotion of synthetic biology.
A board game is an innovative way to introduce science to people, no matter their background.
We created something interactive that makes players work together, learn and have fun while doing it.
Damien Marquis, a scientist and board game developer in the University of Nantes, accompanied throughout the whole process and took part in the development process.
Thanks to his advice and helpful critic sense, we have designed the original board and pawns and created this recreative game from scratch.
Process of creating the game board
This board game allows you to become a master in all scientific fields and above all in synthetic biology and design your own genetic tools !
For this, you have to construct your own plasmid in a record time and win the game.
You can play solo or by team for more fun ! Differents scientifics themes are proposed, with differents difficulty levels :
- Animals and vegetal biology laboratory
- Physics laboratory
- Molecular biology laboratory
- Mathematic and bioinformatic laboratory
- Chemistry laboratory
- IGEM laboratory
Put down the board in the middle of the players and assemble the board.
Mix cards by category and place hidden faces in their location near their respective laboratory.
Mix iGEM cards and place them near the board. Place cards Plasmid hidden faces and plasmid pawns near the board game. Take a pawn and a card Plasmid by person or team. These cards show the plasmid which must be constructed by the player or the team.
1st round of game :
The younger player (or the team with the younger player) start and place his or their pawn in the main area of the laboratory with the same colour as the plasmid card taken before by the player or the team.
An opposite player or team takes a card related to the laboratory (with the same colour) and asks a question.
The player answer the question by choosing a level of difficulty according to his level :
- A direct answer without asking a proposition of answer
- An answer with asking the choice between 4 propositions of answer
- An answer with asking the choice between 2 propositions of answer
If the answer is good, the player or the team wins a plasmid pawn and chooses another laboratory and places his or their pawn on it.
On the contrary, he or they must go to the waiting area of the laboratory.
End of the round :
Afterwards, the player or the team answers the question and moves his or their pawn, the hand goes to the next player in the clockwise direction of the board.
Since the second turn of the game :
If the player or the team had already his or their pawn on the main area of a laboratory, he or they can answer directly to a question.
If the player or the team had his or their pawn on the waiting area of a laboratory, he or they can move the pawn on the main area of the related laboratory if the place is empty and answer a question.
Otherwise, he or they miss a turn. If the answer is good, the player or the team wins a plasmid piece and chooses another laboratory and places his or their pawn on it. If the player or the team don't answer correctly at the first question of the laboratory, he or they move their pawn on the waiting area.
If the player or the team don't answer correctly at the second question of the laboratory, he or they must leave the laboratory and go to the iGEM laboratory. He/They will answer an iGEM card question in the next turn.
- If he or they answer correctly, he or they win a plasmid piece and go to the laboratory of his / their choice.
- If he or they don't answer correctly, then he or they will try to answer an iGEM card question in the next turn.
End of the game and conditions of victory :
When a player or a team reaches to win 5 pieces of plasmids, he or they must go to the iGEM laboratory.
An opposite player or team takes an iGEM card and asks the question to the first player or team.
If the answer is good : the player or the team succeeds in assembling his or their plasmid and wins the game !
Otherwise, the player or the team must wait the next turn to answer a new time to the iGEM card.
The project of this board game is part of the contribution.
Starting from a reflection of creating open sciences through playful sciences, we made our cards and game board, to finally put this game at disposal for all, by passing in the different schools for example.
We also propose to iGEM members to create their own copy of the game thanks to resources in the link.
You can find materials and parameters of cutting required to the construction of the board and pawns and of course all cards to play !
You can also add supplementary questions, change rules to adapt the game at your wish, or last but not least create new pawns or pieces of plasmids !
This game can be the base of another, so don’t hesitate to use it !