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Jul 22, 2019 Article
Developing science tabletop games: ‘Catan’® and global warming

by Sam Illingworth and Paul Wake

‘Catan’® (1995) is a multiplayer tabletop game with global sales of over 20 million copies. Presented here is an exploration of the steps that were taken in the development of the ‘Catan: Global Warming’ expansion, from prototype to final design. During the playtesting of the game the feedback that we received from a variety of playtesters indicated that the game mechanics (rather than any accompanying story) were an effective and elegant way of developing dialogue around a specific topic, in this instance global warming. We conclude that in order to develop such a game, consideration must be given to: the accessibility of the game, the game literacy of the proposed players, the playtesting of the game mechanics, the peer review of the scientific content, and the extent to which the metagame (i.e. those discussions that take place around and away from the game) is enabled.

Volume 18 • Issue 04 • 2019

May 26, 2015 Article
Does attending a large science event enthuse young people about science careers?

by Sam Illingworth, Emma Lewis and Carl Percival

A survey was conducted during the University of Manchester’s 2014 ‘Science Extravaganza’, which saw the participation of over 900 Key Stage 3 (ages 11–14) students in a range of interactive demonstrations, all run by active University researchers. The findings of this study suggest that a new approach is necessary in order to use these large science events to actively engage with school students about the career opportunities afforded by science subjects. Recommendations for such an approach are suggested, including the better briefing of researchers, and the invitation of scientists from outside academia to attend and interact with the school students.

Volume 14 • Issue 02 • 2015