The Immune System Game

Purpose of game:

A fun way (in a social setting) to use basic information about how the immune system works

Target age group:

ages 10-14

Time needed to prepare:

This depends on your particular situation and whether you will make disposable paper signs, or re-usable felt or poster board ones. Also, it will make a different whether you can make the grid quickly by using something like chalk lines outdoors or tape lines on carpet, or whether you need to do something more time consuming like taped-down lines of yarn or string.

Time needed to play:

30-60 minutes per game:  The time will depend heavily on two factors: 1) the amount of time you have to spend repeating directions and controlling the silliness factor of your group, and  2) how the random events come out.  There is a random factor in the game that will cause each playing of the game to go a bit differently.

Description of activity:

Players stand on a large grid marked out on the floor.  They wear signs indicating what type of immune cell (B cells, T cells, NK cells) or invader (bacteria or virus) they are.  There are rules of movement for each type of cell, just as there are rules of movement for each type of chess piece.  Also, with each turn, a narrator reads “events” that take place within the body, like coming down with a flu, or taking antibiotics or not getting enough sleep, etc, that might affect how the immune system functions. Both cells and pathogen get removed from the board if they are successfully destroyed.  Play continues until either the immune system or the pathogens win.

Click here to download complete instructions

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