Monday, 16 February 2009

Routes Game – Channel 4 and Wellcome Trust initiative to teach us about Genetics

Welcome to Routes, a new initiative commissioned by Channel 4 and the research charity Wellcome Trust to teach today’s youth about genetics and how genetic testing could affect us all. The Routes game experience in short is a huge educational project which takes the form of a series of online multiplayer games combining an ARG (Alternate Reality Game), video and viral content, to bring to life the new Channel 4 TV programme Routes which explores the topic of genetics and bio-ethics.

Four games have been created for the project and will be rolled out over the next two months starting with Breeders, which is available to play now. The other games in the series will be Sneeze, DNA Heroes, and Ginger Dawn.

Breeder as mentioned is the first in the series, in which the user gets points for breeding their very own creature. Points are won when someone breeds with their creature, with prizes offered throughout the process.

This is a great idea, with a large amount of users already playing. Other features allow players to upload their customised organisms onto their social network profiles, and watch them evolve over time. With the TV programme’s help, the prizes acting as an incentive for users to join, and with the addictive and easy to follow ways in which people can earn bonus points etc, I can see this catching on very quickly.