Interdisciplinary Initiatives Program Round 5 – 2010

Ingmar Riedel-Kruse, Bioengineering
Rhiju Das, Biochemistry
Daniel Schwartz, School of Education

The engineering and understanding of life increasingly depends on the cross-disciplinary engagement of the next-generation of researchers and a public comfortable with what modern biology is becoming. Our initiative aims to catalyze advances in biology through interactive gaming. Games sustain engagement, and ideally, can be used in informal ways to achieve educational objectives. The notion of serious games, where people accomplish work in a game setting, has already capitalized on the engagement aspects of games. Our novel addition is to extend the game concept by utilizing actual biological processes as the interactive medium. We therefore had put together a faculty team with appointments in engineering, humanities & sciences, and education to create the Stanford Bio-X-Games Center (BXGC), and we had proposed to investigate whether such games are feasible, and if so, the utility they could have for education and society.