BioGraphr: Science Games on a Biotic Computer

Lukas C. Gerber, Michael C. Doshi, Honesty Kim, Ingmar H. Riedel-Kruse

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The advancement of biotechnology enables novel types of interaction devices, alternative computers, and games. Design principles for effective human interactions on these technologies is still largely unexplored. Here we present the BioGraphr, an interactive tabletop gaming system that enables playful experience and interaction with millions of microorganisms at the millimeter scale: Light patterns (images) are projected into a mini-aquarium containing phototactic (i.e. respond to light) Euglena cells, which then arrange into complex dynamic bioconvection patterns within seconds. We characterized the bio-computational properties of the BioGraphr, designed biotic games, and explored novel interactive scientific and artistic activities. Responses by test players indicate fun and meaningful gameplay and emphasize how learning about microscopic biology can be naturally coupled to a “bio-computational” substrate. We derived general human-computer interaction design lessons for games on biological machines. The BioGraphr is accessible for DIY, museums as well as formal science education as its low-cost version is easy to reproduce, and Euglena cell cultures are long term stable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event1st Joint International Conference of Digital Games Research Association and Foundation of Digital Games, DiGRA/FDG 2016 - Dundee, United Kingdom
Duration: Aug 1 2016Aug 6 2016

Conference

Conference1st Joint International Conference of Digital Games Research Association and Foundation of Digital Games, DiGRA/FDG 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityDundee
Period8/1/168/6/16

Keywords

  • Alternative Computation
  • Biotic Game
  • Biotic Processing Unit
  • Education
  • Human-Biology Interaction (HBI)
  • Interactive Biotechnology
  • Tangible Microscopy
  • User Interfaces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction

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