How analogue games can be used to develop dialogue and participation in science

Using boardgames to communicate science

Analogue games (i.e., any game played on a flat surface, such as a board game or card game) afford a tactile sensory experience and an immediately accessible social space. The combination of those two aspects could mean that they could constitute an ideal medium through which to generate dialogue between scientists and other publics.

By encouraging players to negotiate boundaries and behaviours that they might not ordinarily adhere to, tabletop games put players in a mindset to have conversations that they might not readily have away from this gaming environment.

In this project, students will work to create a new tabletop (i.e. analogue) game that aims to develop dialogue between scientists and non-scientists. 

They will then test the validity of this game in creating such dialogues and develop a framework through which tabletop games might be used to develop wider participation in science. 

Project goals:

  • To create a tabletop game that develops dialogue between scientists and non-scientists.
  • To develop a framework through which analogue games might be used to develop participation in science.

Successful PhD applicants will be fully involved in the whole research process, from design to dissemination. This will include the creation of a new analogue game.

Suggested readings

Research team leader: Dr Sam Illingworth

I am a Senior Lecture in Science Communication with a background in interdisciplinary studies; I am in the School of Biological Sciences at UWA. My research is focused on the looking at ways in which science can be used to empower society. In particular I use poetry and games to help establish dialogue between scientists and non-scientists.


How to Apply 

Check criteria
  • To be accepted into the Doctor of Philosophy, an applicant must demonstrate they have sufficient background experience in independent supervised research to successfully complete, and provide evidence of English language proficiency
Submit enquiry to research team leader 
  • Contact the research team leader by submitting an Expression of Interest form via the button below
  • After you have discussed your project with the research team leader, contact to proceed with your application