31 Aug A Free Educational Game: ‘Go Extinct!’
Teachers! Are you looking for a fun way to teach about extinction, biodiversity, evolution, or Australian megafauna? Are you looking for a free, curriculum-aligned resource? Then Go Extinct! might be for you!
Go Extinct! is an award-winning board game created by evolutionary biologist Dr Ariel Marcy. The Megafauna Edition was developed in collaboration with Professor Vera Weisbecker from CABAH (Centre for Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage) and Flinders University.
Building on the basic mechanic of Go Fish, the Go Extinct! game takes players through the evolutionary tree of Australian life. The goal is to collect sets of animals from closely related evolutionary families, such as the “Skin Shedders” or reptiles, “Thunder Thighs” aka macropods or kangaroos, or the “Yolky Folk” monotremes like platypus and echidna, plus many more. The game shows evolutionary relationships such as how mammals break down into groups like monotremes, placental mammals, and marsupials, then how marsupials then split into further groups including carnivores, wombats, and kangaroos.
Go Extinct! not only teaches evolutionary science, but also some tactical and critical thinking. Can you ask other players for the right card without revealing what’s in your hand? Perhaps asking for “Feathered Friends” (any bird) instead of the Cassowary will make it harder for the other players to guess what you have in your hand, but this might also make is harder to get the card you want… The winning strategy emerges as using the evolutionary tree to identify the common ancestor of multiple animals in your hand.
The game is beautifully designed with each card featuring artwork by the talented paleoartist Nellie Pease as well as fun facts about each of the 28 animals in the game, including Indigenous names for many of the animals.
Adults and kids alike love the game – and we certainly loved play testing it. The best part is that you can register for free hard copies for your school, or download your own print at home version here: https://epicaustralia.org.au/resource/goextinctmegafauna/
We think this is a terrific opportunity to grab a free and fun educational game – so why not give it a go!