Learning about Cells?…Play this Game!

I would like to introduce a game I recently found.  The game is called Axon, and it is meant to have people learn about neuron development and types of cells.  The way the game works is that you begin with a cell and then have to continue clicking the small dots around you before the current circle’s energy runs out.  This is meant to also simulate how neurons compete with other neurons for resources, since your developing brain is a very competitive environment.  It is actually a very addicting game: the music is fun, the game is simple enough and it is very easy to continue clicking those little dots.  The best part of it is that at the end it tells you how long your neuron was and what kind of cell it can be.  These are not exact, but obviously more complex cells come at higher points levels.  For example, my personal best of 63,000+ points gave me a cortical layer 3 cell, whereas when you only achieve a couple thousand points you get a retinal cell, which is nowhere nearly as complex.

This game really got me thinking about how you can teach biology concepts with games.  I had previously played physics games, but never biology.  For this reason, it was very interesting for me to actually learn about a topic I had never considered much throughout school.  Link is here: http://armorgames.com/play/13108/axon

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