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ALLELE PATTERNS: A GENIGAME

- Made in collaboration with Jun Sik Kim, Daniel Albuquerque and Yong Lee

The first iteration of this game was shown at Maker Faire 2012. A video of the first iteration can be found below while a video of the next iteration can be found above.

The two sticks used as controllers represent chromosomes. There is a potentiometer and an LED in each stick. By rotating the potentiometer, people can control the allele in the chromosome. If the LED is on, then the stick carries a dominant allele. If the LED is off, the stick is carrying a recessive allele. One stick has a reed switch marked with colorful tape. People can use the one stick to click on the other stick and make an “allele cross.” The X form of combining the two sticks was inspired by the shape of actual chromosomes. People can have fun rotating the potentiometers, seeing the LED react, and sticking two sticks together (almost like drum sticks).

The main purpose of this game is to get the different combinations and results of mixing alleles. For example, if the parent alleles are Rr x Rr, then people have to come up with all resulting combinations of RR, Rr, Rr, rr. If people get the answer correct, the box is outlined green and if the people get the answer incorrect, the box is outlined with red. The software, coded with processing, gives random parent alleles for players to solve. There is a time limit in which people have to find the combination.