CRISPR Whispers™ Board Game – Features
GAME THEME & TYPE
The game is about CRISPR, the amazing genome editing tool that can change the DNA or RNA of any living thing. Changing a genome can change the genome owner’s looks, health, and functioning.
Cooperative game play combines strategy of a modern board game with the creative expressiveness and player interaction of a party game. It includes: solving puzzles featuring CRISPR; expressing preferences re CRISPR uses currently in the works; and thinking up future CRISPR uses.
AGES: 12 & up • PLAYERS: 1-6 • TIME: 45-60 minutes
PLAYER ACTIONS & WINNING GOAL
Players are members of a team trying to carry out missions using CRISPR to change genomes. But a team’s efforts will confront setbacks, and to win, it must complete its missions before its limited number of turns run out.
Missions require team members to work in or enlist help from the range of Occupations housed at the following Locations on CRISPR Whispers Island, depicted on the game board.
- CRISPR Science Lab: (Teach CRISPR science. Develop and upgrade CRISPR tools)
- Cures & Upgrades Mall: Humans & Animals Clinics. (Cure genetic diseases and upgrade non-disease genes)
- Super Seedy Greenhouse & Microbe Fermentation Tanks: (Upgrade plants & microbes)
- Pest Control: (Control disease-causing insects & microbes)
- Extinction Prevention & Returns Center: (Preserve endangered species. Resurrect extinct species)
- Storytellers STEAMboat—moves along CRISPR Whispers Island’s water channels: (Educators/Writers/Visual & Performing Artists tell CRISPR stories to workers at other Occupation Locations and to the public)
- Grants Dispensary: (Secure funds. Evaluate and selectively fund CRISPR-related missions)
- Protections Bureau: (Bioethics, Regulations & Enforcement)
- Public Opinion Well: (Sample, analyze, & influence public opinion)
- Underminers Lair—at secret location: (Underminers try to interfere with progress of CRISPR missions in various ways—e.g., by navigating their Submarine to attack the Storytellers STEAMboat.)
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 in the science world. The future CRISPR’ed world will be shaped by people’s fantasies, many of which are destined to become real world actualities—it is a matter of when, not if.
Science Concepts: genetics, DNA, RNA, protein enzymes, genomes, genome editing, genetic traits, psychological traits, trait changes, designer humans, designer babies, gene-edited plants, GMOs, pest control, 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.
Game is in development, so some features specified above may change.