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Games that amuse Scientists
Allison dlr
United States
Belmont
California
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In my non-gaming life, I'm microbiologist (let's assume I graduate with my PhD at some point, and that will become officially true). Anyway, when I first discovered the wonderful world of board games, there was huge variety of board game themes to sift through. I have to admit, being someone who occasionally thinks about science even while in the shower, that biology- or science-themed games were especially intriguing.

Here's a list of some of those games...


(Feel free to add games, especially ones in other science areas that I'm not as familiar with.)
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26. Board Game: Polarity [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:1411]
Michel Boucher
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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Fun with magnets and fields...wheee :-)
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27. Board Game: Thebes [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:261]
David K.
United States
Pflugerville
Texas
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Let's not forget the archeologists! They're scientists too!
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28. Board Game: bOOLeO [Average Rating:5.81 Overall Rank:8397]
Subhan Michael Tindall
United States
Portland
Oregon
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While some might argue whether or not 'computer scientist' is actually a subset of 'scientist', as an MS Computer Science holder I'm pretty intrigued by this one.
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29. Board Game: Sprouts [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:8117]
Jay Richardson
United States
Lindsborg
Kansas
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A neat pencil-and-paper game that was popularized in Martin Gardner's "Mathematical Games" column in Scientific American magazine.
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30. Board Game: SeaSim [Average Rating:6.01 Overall Rank:5173]
 
-matt s.
United States
Eugene
Oregon
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Sharks! Eating fish! Lots and LOTS of fish!

It's interesting to see the ebb and flow of the fish schools, the sharks feasting and starving...
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31. Board Game: Khet: The Laser Game [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1038]
Xavier Salvador

Badalona
Catalonia
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Light in action is a scientific magnet.
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32. Board Game: Attack Vector: Tactical [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:2988]
Xavier Salvador

Badalona
Catalonia
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Newtonian 3D Movement. A physics' apple!
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33. Board Game: Castellers [Average Rating:5.71 Overall Rank:7473]
Xavier Salvador

Badalona
Catalonia
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Human towers: where architects/engineers and physicians/psychologist meet.
Strength & Balance + Bravery & Good Sense
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34. Board Game: Indus [Average Rating:5.61 Overall Rank:7657]
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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More archaeologists. If you stand there, you get whatever artifact(s) are in that square meter. If you have two people standing there, you claim that spot for the whole game. If it's a large area, get more people there, and at the top of the heap, than your opponent.

(a) You're guaranteed to find the artifacts at every location at the game, and (b) more people = more finds.

(Don't get me wrong, I like the game, just a somewhat shaky premise from an archaeological view, versus drawing out of a bag and sometimes getting nothing).
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35. Board Game: DisX [Average Rating:6.36 Unranked]
Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
southwest
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... an abstract strategy game based on the scientific phenomenon of chain reactions.

Every scientist has to deal those once in a while ...

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36. Board Game: Elementeo [Average Rating:5.68 Unranked]
Dennis Leung
United States
Fanwood
New Jersey
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My girlfriend and I are chemists, so I snatched up this game. Unfortunately, we haven't had the time to get this on the table, but it looks like a neat tactical CCG-like game that involves using atoms cards to make molecules and compounds. Each card has some flavor text that gives info on that particular element. Hopefully we get a chance to give this a spin.
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37. Board Game: GRO: Battle for the Petri Dish [Average Rating:5.92 Overall Rank:8004]
Scott Henshaw
United States
East Bridgewater
Massachusetts
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The game description's first line says it all:
"Each player controls the growth and expansion of a strain of bacterium within the confines of a petri dish. The goal is to become the dominant strain."
I bought this as a DTP, but I heard a more professionally produced version was released.
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38. Board Game: Amoeba Wars [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:3944]
Flawed Hero
United States
Rochester
New York
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let's not forget this one. Plenty of scientific truth packed into this box.
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39. Board Game: Rocket Flight [Average Rating:6.58 Unranked]
Marc Figueras

Barcelona
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When I discovered that in this game the map represents not distance but delta-v and specific impulse, and that the player's starting positions are the Lagrange points of the Earth-Moon system, as a physicist, I fell in love with Rocket Flight.

cool

But unfortunately, out of print
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40. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:129]
Ben Smith
United States
California
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This game uses "proofs" similar to math proofs; the concept of limiting the types of information you can use in the proofs was fascinating to me when I learned it as a math student.
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41. Board Game: Industrial Waste [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:965]
Chris Tyler
United States
Minnetonka
Minnesota
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For the engineers, specifically the chemical and the environmental engineers. I know some of you may object to engineers being called scientists...


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42. Board Game: Burp [Average Rating:5.49 Overall Rank:8863]
Jae
United States
Bryan
TX
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For the civil engineers among us.
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43. Board Game: World of Warcraft: The Boardgame [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:926]
Dave Seligson
United States
Arizona
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Actually, there is another game that really was used for modelling disease transmission. A few years ago, in World Of Warcraft (Online) there was a disease attack by a high-level monster. After the encounter was over, the disease was supposed to end, but hunter characters would dismiss their pets after they were infected, and then reappear in a populated area where they recalled their pet. Hilarity ensues as the NPC's and other high level chars kept the disease alive. This wiped out thousands. Some scientists then studied these reactions. The below article talks about it.

http://www.gamespot.com/news/blogs/london-calling/909183773/...
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44. Board Game: WFF 'N PROOF [Average Rating:4.85 Overall Rank:10065]
Bruce Baskir
United States
Missouri
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For the really anal mathematicians.
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45. Board Game: Racetrack [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:4474]
Bruce Baskir
United States
Missouri
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Simple paper and pencil racing game that teaches the difference between velocity and acceleration. Your velocity can be as high as you want, but your maximum acceleration is one (square/turn)/turn in each direction.
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46. Board Game: Eleusis [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:2700]
Bruce Baskir
United States
Missouri
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Card game that explores the scientific method - formulating and testing a hypothesis.
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47. Board Game: Invasion of the Air-eaters [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:5320]
Elwyn Darden
United States
Richmond
Virginia
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How could they pass up a game where the world devotes the majority of its budget to scientific research?
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48. Board Game: Bone Wars: The Game of Ruthless Paleontology [Average Rating:5.74 Overall Rank:8510]
Wulf Corbett
Scotland
Shotts
Lanarkshire
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When this was first released, they gave a special discount to anyone ordering from states where Intelligent Design was treated as a science
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49. Board Game: Insecta [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:4912]
Adam Boudreau
United States
Massachusetts
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Who likes bugs! Plus evolution on radiation steroids! In insecta you get to develop (evolve) your own warrior bug and attempt to invade other insects burrows. You get little insect minis and they have googley eyes! Why do they have googley eyes?! Who knows, radiating bugs apparently gives them near human eyes! surprise

There's also a couple expansions on this game like "Rainforest" and "Trilobite".
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50. Board Game: Bugs & Looops [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Dana Zinsmeister
United States
College Station
Texas
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From that ancient time when programmers were worshipped as superbeings and games were created in their honor.
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