Do you love watching penguins swim and play when you visit the zoo? Do you enjoy honey in your tea? If we don’t take action to protect species like honeybees and Galapagos penguins, these experiences might not be around for much longer. As team member Sonal Katyal passionately remarked during the early planning stages of our project, “I want my daughter to be able to see all of the beautiful creatures we have in the world today. I want her to experience the wonders of nature.”
A love for nature and the environment is what initially drove us to create a card game about environmental conservation and endangered animals. We wanted to raise awareness about these important issues and inspire people to become more environmentally responsible citizens, so that future generations will still be able to enjoy all of the wonders of nature that we have today. At the same time, as a team of Science Communication masters students, we are always looking for new and exciting ways to communicate science to a wide array of audiences. And thus, “The Birds and the Bees” card game was born!
We have two different versions of the card game, one about Galapagos penguins and one about Hawaiian bees, both of which are endangered species. Our card game includes fun, cute animal facts like “Galapagos Penguins bow as a show of friendship and sometimes give each other gifts!” In the game, participants act as an endangered animal (either a penguin or a bee) and have to use the cards in their hand to overcome the obstacles and threats presented to them. It will require an element of creativity and reasoning, as participants must be able to justify how their cards can combat the obstacles they face. For example, when faced with the “Moulting!” card—(“You are moulting and can’t go swimming for 5-10 days”)—a person could use their “Preening” card (“Strengthen a bond with some mutual preening”), arguing that they will make a new friend to catch food for them. Anything goes, as long as you can tell a story behind your decisions!
We want the card game to be as straightforward and accessible as possible, so no prior knowledge about science or the environment is necessary! The game is suitable for anyone who can read – just arrive with an inquisitive spirit and a willingness to learn a new game. We will be creating an eco-friendly immersive environment in which to play the game, complete with animal soundtracks and living plants! Going along with our goals of sustainability and environmental consciousness, we have also created the game pieces from recycled materials. The game should only take about 20-30 minutes and we will be set up all day in the Potterrow Dome (in Bristo Square) from 12:00 to 19:00 on Friday 24th February, so feel free to stop in anytime!
Our environment is filled with amazing forms of life (penguins and bees, to name a few!), and everything is deeply connected: each species has a special role that allows our ecosystems to work. So we have to take care of each other if we want to continue enjoying the wonders of our home!
If you like the sound of this event you may also be interested in: Board Game Jam: The Expansion, Design for well-being: modelling villages for 21st century, Bees to Bugs, See and Inspire Art Exhibition