CRISPR Ahead™ Board Game – Features
Cooperative with competition between team members for MVP status. Play includes: solving puzzles featuring CRISPR; producing creations related to CRISPR uses—e.g., short poems, songs, drawings, what-if scenarios; expressing preferences re CRISPR uses currently in the works; thinking up future uses, including related ‘What If…’ scenarios and potential consequences. The game combines strategy of a modern board game with the creative expressiveness and player connectedness of a party game.
Early round(s) take place in the present, later round(s) in the year 2100.
AGES: 14 & up • PLAYERS: 1-6 • TIME: 45-60 minutes/round
Locations of occupations contributing to CRISPR-focused enterprises on the Island of CRISPR Whispers (functions in parentheses) will be mapped on the game board.
- Mighty Microbe Mart (Provide bacterial & viral sources of CRISPR tools)
- CRISPR Science Lab (Teach CRISPR uses, develop & upgrade CRISPR tools)
- Cures & Upgrades Mall: Humans Clinic and Animals Clinic. (Cure genetic diseases and upgrade genetic non-disease traits)
- Super Seedy Greenhouse + Associated Test Fields (Upgrade plants)
- Bad Bug Exterminators (Control disease-causing bug populations)
- Extinction Control & Returns Center (Preserve endangered species; resurrect extinct species)
- Grants Dispensary (Fund CRISPR-related enterprises, often based on competitions)
- Communicators STEAMboat; located on the water (Teach in formal and informal settings; communicate news via the arts)
- Public Opinion Well; includes Diversity Activists Bucket (Sample and analyze public opinion)
- Public Genomics Library (Provide public access to genomics database and publications; provide private access to personal genomic information—e.g., disease risk, traits, ancestry)
- Bioethics & Safety Bureau (Consider bioethics issues; develop and enforce safety regulations)
- Software Station (Develop computer software related to CRISPR editing)
- Hackers & Crackers Hideout; secret underground location (Interfere with legitimate CRISPR uses or use CRISPR to hack genomes (Hackers); foil Hacker attacks Crackers). Note: the line between Hackers & Crackers is thin!)
Players will choose from Character profiles the one whose traits best fit their real (or wished for) personality. For various missions, Characters chosen by the team as best suited to perform specific duties will do so at the appropriate structures.
Science Concepts: genetics, DNA, RNA, protein enzymes, genomes, genome editing, genetic traits, psychological traits, trait
changes, designer humans, designer babies, GMOs, gene drives, stem cell therapy, gene therapy, extinct animal resurrection,
endangered animal preservation, genome hacking.
Indispensable Science Supporters: science communicators, informed opinion expressers, STEM/STEAM educators.
In early play, set in the present, players choose and complete CRISPR missions, requiring participation by specialized workers at various game board locations listed above. Players meet challenges by: accumulating and deploying resources; solving puzzles; and producing creative expressions. Successful completion of missions earns players a ride on the Time Ahead Express to the year 2100, where they imagine CRISPR-produced trait changes in any living thing; choose which ones they want, or don’t want, to be implemented; think up and try on ‘What If’ scenarios that address possible consequences of having the chosen trait changes done or not done.
The CRISPR theme is ideally suited for game play in that instructions and consequences on game cards connect logically with player activities, creating a feedback circuit that simulates real life. And the game world of 2100 is shaped by player fantasies, many of which are destined to become real world actualities—it is a matter of when, not if. What could be more engaging than that!
Advancing in Play: The means of advancing differs from most modern board games in its emphasis on expressions of players’ own ideas, encompassing both creative imagination and analytic evaluation. Progress is recorded on the “HUMAN RACE TRACK.”
Game is in development, so some features specified above may be changed.