Our bodies are made up of an amazing network of cells, all playing by the complex rules of life to keep us fit and healthy. But what happens when a cell malfunctions, breaks the rules and hijacks the system to go rogue? Help to build the network, figure out the rules of the game and watch out for those rogue cells!

Malfunction Junction is an interactive game about cellular processes. The project was developed by Einstein’s Garden in collaboration with scientists from Cardiff University.

Players built up the network of cells, modelled from electrically conductive playdough. When the network was functioning correctly the cells were neat and ordered and the board lit up with rows of LED lights.

For each person’s turn at the game, a card was drawn representing a different cellular processes such as genetic mutation, cell damage, stem cell function and immune response. When a cell hijacked the rules, it mutated and became rogue, turning into a messy clump on the board, preventing the network and the lights from working.

It showed you lots of things about science but it was fun with different playdough and glitter cards, just like a board game.

– Malfunction Junction audience member, Green Man 2017

Scientists from the European Cancel Stem Cell Research Institute chatted to people as they played the game, revealing the research being done to investigate the way cells in the body break normal biological rules to become cancerous.

We learned a lot, it was really good – it was fun as well, an interactive game with it so you’re learning whilst you’re playing it.

– Malfunction Junction audience member, Green Man 2017

Malfunction Junction was produced by Einstein’s Garden in collaboration with Cardiff University scientists and Technology Will Save Us.