game board & tokens




  • antibiotic (Credit: Marina Vladivostok)
  • chicken (Credit: Katie King)
  • space lab (Credit: NASA Crew of Skylab 4)
  • quantum memory (Credit: ANU)
  • communities (Credit: Special Olympics)
  • planet (Credit: NASA)


Jeremy Adam Smith, a fine science writer and anti-racist education activist, models storytelling chops good and bad for us in this report ABOUT such, and in a venue in which the actants cortisol, oxytocin, dopamine play simultaneous roles in signaling among beings, activating interior processes, gathering groups, eliciting empathy, modulating experiences of risk and care, and take us through enlivening fantasies and realities of getting things working with compassion. I am in awe of the transmedia storytellings of the various researchers whose work is mobilized here, who fund themselves in ways they hope to be full of right livelihood in the belly of the beasts of neoliberal research agendas, who create scholarly and online communities of compassion and change, who aid us in moving properly among and between the stories that make things worse and the stories that enable action and gathering.... I aspire even when I find this too needing more and different and additional enactments and meanings....

"given the power of stories, it’s dangerous to hear them without asking ourselves what reactions they are triggering in our bodies. Mr. Trump’s speech causes my stomach to clench and my mouth to go dry; in asking me to put my own group ahead of others, he triggers anger and anxiety. I believe that’s his intent. President Obama’s speech urges me to reflect and to think compassionately about all of humanity. His words lift my heart, just a bit—and, again, I believe that’s intentional. I can feel their words in my body, but I’m not helpless against them. Research also suggests that people are more than capable of defending themselves against the power of stories. We can cognitively override the emotional identification and transportation stories trigger by trying to balance them against the facts. In cultivating awareness of the impact of a story, we can tell a different one, or revise the story to fit the facts or our own experience. We live in an story-saturated world—coming at us through screens as well as through pages and performances and music—and today, I think it’s essential for us to understand all the ways in which leaders and organizations are trying to manipulate us into believing what they want us to believe...we need to look at our own responsibility for the well-being of others, and cultivate awareness of the impact of our own stories, of our own power over the bodies of other people. What intentions do we bring to the stories we tell? Are we using our power to lift people up and help them to see solutions to the problems we face as individuals and as groups? Or are we using our power to reveal the worst in ourselves, and so pit people against each other? Do we communicate things that make us feel good about ourselves—or that make us feel worse? Stories bring us together, but they can also tear us apart. They can bring us joy but they can also incite hatred. We are all born with the power to tell stories. It’s a power we need to learn to use well and wisely." (Smith 2016)

My game cards are vaguely based on the cards of Grow a Game, by Tiltfactor and connected to Values at Play. Please check all these out!

Grow a Game:
Values at Play's game tools:

some image credits:

• microbiota banners clipped from google search.
• contact mystery:
• woman at table:

• Pioneer Plaque:
• Diversity Plaque:
• Zimmer Science Ink: Pioneer Plaque:

Katie makes her drawings using the app Paper by 53: