POLAR ECLIPSE - PATENT ABSTRACT
An educational game using the earth’s climate as the primary subject matter, incorporating specific, descriptive global events to move players around a grid game board with time and temperature defining the horizontal and vertical aspects of the grid. The object of the game is to survive by making it into the future while becoming cooler and cooler. Opportunities arise where a player may choose to help other players. The game uses impacts of human behavior and natural events on climate as the subject matter. The game can be played as a board game, a classroom game or a computer game. The playing pieces (players) represent a variety of species, for example a cheetah, mallard duck, redwood tree, boy and sea turtle; each with a popular appeal to the intended audience and varying vulnerabilities to climate change and other environmental challenges. A die, either three-dimensional and six sided or computer animated defines time with different dates on each of the sides. The game board is divided into a grid pattern with temperature indicated in degree along the vertical axis of the grid and time indicated in years along the horizontal axis of the grid. Those playing the game have choices regarding actions to take and are also faced with many surprises. For each turn a player has the choice of rolling the die to move to a different time and staying at the same temperature or picking an EVENT card to determine their new place on the time and temperature grid. Most EVENT cards describe a specific, descriptive event that has either a positive or a negative environmental impact. If an EVENT card describes a positive event, for example, “Six thousand tons of glass are recycled and made into new spaghetti jars, cool down one degree” the player will move down one degree. An example of an EVENT card with a negative environmental impact may be, “There’s a four year drought in the mid-western United States. The farmers struggle with poor soil and poor crops. Heat up three degrees”. In this case the player will heat up three degrees. The EVENT cards may move a player cooler or warmer, forward or backward in time, or a variety of other moves for example, join the coolest player or trade places with the oldest player. Some EVENT cards effect only one player, for example, “The wetlands are thriving this decade with clean water and lots of food. The duck cools down three degrees”. A player may also land on an arctic square or be instructed to pick an ARCTIC card. The ARCTIC cards ask questions. ALL SPECIES QUESTION CARDS offer the opportunity for all players to add their thoughts or an idea. Multiple Choice ARCTIC cards are questions with specific answers. The color spectrum is used to visually represent hot and cold on the game board. The game is intended for 8 years to adult. As a secondary or solitary activity the EVENT cards can be turned text facing down and assembled into puzzles. The puzzles are photographs from around the world and represent a variety of natural and manmade scenes. Blank EVENT cards will be provided to offer the game owner the chance to create events to add to the game. The electronic version of the game will be revised to stay current with quickly evolving science regarding climate. Future versions of the game may introduce additional text onto the game board to effect player movement or other types of cards to effect player movement. In addition to a board and computer game, the game could be played on different physical scales, for example as a classroom game, with players standing on a time and temperature grid playing field.