Gapminder Casino - 2009

 Hans Rosling as croupier for Gapminder Casino

Hans Rosling as croupier for Gapminder Casino

Working with Thinc Design and Hans Rosling, I helped to create the Gapmider Casino for the Gapminder Foundation. We turned global health data into a game of roulette. I designed the general concept, game mechanics, did the player and dealer interaction design, and wrote a significant amount of the software for first version. Hans controlled the game with a custom designed, wireless RFID-equipped croupier rake, which he used to play, pause, rewind, fast-forward the animations, and to advance the game using RFID-tagged question cards.

Hans would scan a question card to load the next visualization, and pose a question to the players related to the question card. For example, "In 1920 China had a birth rate of 5.5 children per woman and an average life expectancy of 32. What is it today?" (See the visualization on gapminder.org) Players placed their chips on the part of the grid where they thought those rates would be today. Then Hans would play the visualization and winners were awarded.

I wrote a case study about the experience that can be found here.

Technology 

  • Processing
  • RFID
  • XBee wireless radios
  • Projector
 Custom gaming chips used by the players

Custom gaming chips used by the players