Command and Contaminate? Designing Games with Remote-Controlled Microorganisms

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Workshop Call for Participation

How can we design alternative, playful interactions between human and micro-organisms, and why does this matter? What are the possible implications of Internet of Things (IoT) in connecting us to the microbial world?

In the first half of this hands-on 1-day workshop, participants will be introduced to an online, real-time strategy game called ‘Command & Contaminate’. It involves remote control of Cyanobacteria called Synechocystis which are located in London and Amsterdam. Using the game as an inspiration, second half of the workshop will focus on speculative design methods to prototype a fictional game which will be used as a prop for further discussions on the significance of human-microbial interactions, as well as ethical implications they may bring.

Interested parties should submit a 2-page position paper in the SIGCHI extended abstracts format that discuss their interest in the themes, or describe their research on or experiences related to IoT, DIY biology and games design. Accepted submissions will be made accessible on our workshop website.

From this workshop, we aim to write a report for a publication at a reputable HCI journal. More broadly, we aim to develop a community of people interested in human-microbe interactions and IoT.

All queries and submissions should be forwarded to with the subject line ‘DIS 2018 Workshop’. At least one author of the position paper should attend and register:

Important Dates:

13 April 2018       Participant submission deadline

23 April 2018       Acceptance notification

7 May 2018          Conference early bird registration closes

9 June 2018         Workshop (bring smartphone or laptop)

Event Schedule


Position Papers