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A board game about the digestive system

4 replies [Last post]
Anonymous

For my biology project, my partner and I have to a game about the digestive system that:

Is competitive
Is fun (hopefully)
Shows evolution of the digestive system (like from less advanced ones to the more advanced)
Show feedback control
And has action (optional)

My idea is to have a generic path game with the board as the digestive system, the game pieces can be foods, and there can be cards that help or inhibit them as they move along, while teaching facts about the digestive system at the same time. Whoever gets to the end fastest, wins I guess.

I'm not quite sure how to put the evolution, feedback control, and action parts in.

I also need some ideas about what the board spaces could possibly do, and what effects the cards can have (maybe put trivia questions in some of them?).

Thanks

Kreitler
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Re: A board game about the digestive system

IdunsApple wrote:

I'm not quite sure how to put the evolution, feedback control, and action parts in.

I also need some ideas about what the board spaces could possibly do, and what effects the cards can have (maybe put trivia questions in some of them?).

Hey Idun,

Cool project!
Looks like you're on a good track so far, but I can see why you're running into problems. Before any of us non-biology guys can help, we'll need the following:

1) An example of a primitive digestive system vs an advanced one.
2) An example of feedback control (I assume it's something like your bile duct injecting more fluid into the system to handle fatty foods, etc).
3) An example of "action".

A couple of thoughts come to mind:
-- If you have a board representing the digestive tract, one way to introduce evolution is to change the board, somehow. You could do something as complex as having multiple mini-boards which you assemble into a larger full board (like Robo Rally), or you could do something as simple as having multiple paths in the same board, each in its own color, representing a new step in evolution (e.g., the "red" path represents the carnivore's system, the "green" path a simple herbivore's stomach, the "blue" path a complex herbivore's stomach).

-- You might want to avoid trivia questions if you can -- they will limit your design quite a bit (i.e., you'll probably end up with "answer the question and move 3 spaces" kind of gameplay). Here's a more open-ended alternative -- make the cards contain special rules that teach digestive facts. For example, you might have an action card called "Pepsin", which can be played only on food in the stomach, and which adds 1 to your score if you play in on a food containing protein (lesson learned: pepsin, found in the stomach, initiates the breakdown of protein).

-- Rather than give each player 1 piece to move during the whole game, you might consider having players try to digest multiple foods during a session. This will allow them to move through different tracts (carnivore, simple herbivore, complex herbivore), thus learning more in the process.

I don't want to write too much more, because it's your design. Hopefully, this response won't steer you in a particular direction, but will help you avoid pitfalls whatever you decide to do.

I hope you'll post more as your design comes into focus.

-- Kreitler

seo
seo's picture
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Joined: 07/21/2008
A board game about the digestive system

How about this:

First you have food, made up from several elements of different colors mounted in a block. I'm thinking of something like a column of Lego pieces of different colors.

Then you have cards or tiles that you assemble toghether to build a digestive system. You can have one set of cards that simply cut the food blocks into smaller pieces of a given size. Different cards of this kind might produce different sized pieces. This cards are the teeth and stomachs of your digestive systems. Then you have other set of cards that let you keep elements of some particular color, as long as they are at one end of the piece being digested. The undigested pieces are discarded at the end of the digestive system.

Finally, you can build several of this systems, and combine parts of them to allow for evolution and the emergence of more evolutioned and efficient digestive systems. This can be acheived by taking part of one of your systems and combining it with part of another of your systems. You may do this freele or based on some random method, like using a die to decide where the systems are cut, or which systems will "mate".

Success of a system will be measured by their efficiency to collect food elements. You can set a target value for each kind of nutrient (food element). The first to get the required amount of each nutrient wins.

I know this has little to do with your original idea, but I hope it helps anyway. I reserve the right to produce my own version of this game, but feel free to use as much of the idea as you want. :-)

Seo

Anonymous
A board game about the digestive system

It's due on friday, so I don't have much time. I don't intend to make it too complicated anyways.

About evolution... I'm thinking maybe I can compare the human digestive tract with other organisms, such as the bird's gizzard and other animals' multiple stomachs.

A feedback control system is like trying to keep something constant. So the release of digestive fluids would count as one.

Our teacher used those mouse trap games as an example for action. It is just extra points, so it's not essential.

Without trivia, the only thing left would be the idea of the board spaces and cards controlling the players' movements. It shouldn't be a game totally dependent on luck, but I'm not quite sure how to make it so.

No scoring, just a reach-the-end-and-win game.

CDRodeffer
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Joined: 08/04/2008
A board game about the digestive system

I'm very interested in educational games, so after you're done, would you mind if I looked over what you did? Thanks.

Clark Rodeffer

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