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Gut Check : The Microbiome Game

Gut Check is a downloadable game that allows you to give your friends botulism while you focus on developing a healthy microbiome. It’s a legit board game for 2-4 players that can be freely downloaded in PDF form to be printed or purchase a professionally printed version. The game is based on the current knowledge of the human microbiome. Through game play one can learn about infections, probiotics, antibiotics and much more.

The “gamification” of science has gained a lot of traction in recent years, and games that convey scientific concepts or themes are increasingly popular. While a number of existing games touch on microbiology, very few consider the beneficial (as opposed to the detrimental) aspects of microbes. We designed a board game called “Gut Check: The Microbiome Game” to fill this gap. The game is meant to be both educational as well as challenging and fun. Here we discuss the development of the game, some of the logistics of game development in this context, and offer suggestions for others thinking of similar projects.


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