Game Changers

Competition Details
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Colony Collapse!

by andrew.holien
Co-authors: Tori Carlson, Nate Eul, Sarah Gutknecht, and Jamie Olson

Our game is a representation of Colony Collapse Disorder, the mysterious worldwide phenomenon of abrupt honey bee depopulation first recorded in 2006. Scientists have not yet determined the cause of the disorder, but current research efforts have targeted pathogens, pesticides, and cell-phone towers, which are believed to interfere with bees' navigation. Since bees pollinate a wide variety of crops around the world, their sudden disappearance has had far-reaching consequences. By playing the game, participants are familiarized with this very important but relatively unknown problem.
Colony Collapse! is a simple, fast-paced game that appeals to children and parents alike. It combines strategy, teamwork, and, of course, a healthy amount of fun. To play the game, begin with 20 players. Select three players to represent cell phone towers, two players to represent pathogens, and one person to represent the pesticide. The rest of the the players are bees.
The bees must get from one safe side of the playing field to the other without being deterred by electromagnetic fields (cell phone towers), pathogens, and pesticides. As a bee, the object of the game is to survive as long as possible.
Bees are identified by yellow capes. Their objective is to get from one safe side of the playing field to the other without being tagged "out."
The towers are identified by black headbands and stand along the midpoint of the field. These players are able to tag bees "out" but can only pivot in place. Pathogens are identified by blue headbands. These players are allowed to tag bees; however, upon being tagged, a bee must remain stationary for a penalty period—counting out loud from 1 to 10.
The Pesticide wears a red headband and can tag any bee "out"—or, alternately, chase bees toward the towers or pathogens. The winner of the game is the last remaining bee, who then becomes the pesticide for the next round.