Catastrophic is a card game of community, conservation and catastrophe, designed to aid the learning and assessment of a module taught in the Biology Department at the University of York. Catastrophic is designed to help players make connections across large spatial and temporal scales in biology. Plant and Animal Trait cards (e.g. thick waxy cuticles and evaporative heat loss) help Species to withstand environmental Conditions that they must face in an onslaught of Events such as global warming, drought and habitat fragmentation. Interaction cards help players to support their community of Species through reproduction (by using the pollination card, or perhaps cross-breeding), protection (e.g. with the Doomsday Vault), collaboration (e.g. reciprocal altruism and obligate mutualism) or stab other players in the back with cheating, brood parasitism, predator ecesis and more. Alongside Pen Holland, Ben Kirman and Kerry Know we created version 2.0 of Catastrophic the Card Game during o ur time in the Digital Creativity Labs Summer Scholarship Programme. Download the game and learn more on


  • Leia Massey
  • Emily Martin