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Lab Chip. 2011 Jan 7;11(1):14-22. doi: 10.1039/c0lc00399a. Epub 2010 Nov 18.

Design, engineering and utility of biotic games.

Author information

1
Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, 299 W. Campus Drive, Fairchild, Room D243, Stanford, California 94305, USA. ingmar@stanford.edu

Abstract

Games are a significant and defining part of human culture, and their utility beyond pure entertainment has been demonstrated with so-called 'serious games'. Biotechnology--despite its recent advancements--has had no impact on gaming yet. Here we propose the concept of 'biotic games', i.e., games that operate on biological processes. Utilizing a variety of biological processes we designed and tested a collection of games: 'Enlightenment', 'Ciliaball', 'PAC-mecium', 'Microbash', 'Biotic Pinball', 'POND PONG', 'PolymerRace', and 'The Prisoner's Smellemma'. We found that biotic games exhibit unique features compared to existing game modalities, such as utilizing biological noise, providing a real-life experience rather than virtual reality, and integrating the chemical senses into play. Analogous to video games, biotic games could have significant conceptual and cost-reducing effects on biotechnology and eventually healthcare; enable volunteers to participate in crowd-sourcing to support medical research; and educate society at large to support personal medical decisions and the public discourse on bio-related issues.

PMID:
21085736
DOI:
10.1039/c0lc00399a
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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