Dish Life: The Game (2020) is a puzzle narrative game where you play a stem cell researcher, managing a laboratory and growing stem cells.
You begin as an undergraduate in the lab, and start growing your stem cells, which are complete with animated faces. While attending to your friendly cells you need to juggle other tasks. Because you can only complete tasks one at a time, you soon start collaborating with virtual colleagues to accelerate the work.
As you progress you develop your laboratory and nurture your stem cells to become a celebrated stem cell scientist. Although very much a game, the focus here is on a real experience of the work. This means that you come face to face with what scientists deal with: politics, social issues and staff problems. Here, you are not provided easy answers, but asked how you want to tackle them.
This game is produced by the Reproductive Sociology Research Group (ReproSoc), with the support of the Wellcome Trust and the Economic and Social Research Council. As such, it has educational aims of informing players of both the scientific processes of stem cell science as well as address the wider issues and misconceptions that are associated with stem cell research. Unusually, it manages to do this without feeling heavy handed, and letting the gameplay speak for itself rather than offer busy work between the scientific or moral lessons.
Our examiner, Andy Robertson
, first checked Dish Life: The Game 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 4 months ago.