Elizabeth Donoff

Studying for exams is never fun, and even less so when it comes to final exams. Is there a way to take the information that students attending the University of Wismar are tested on for the Lighting Science Examination and make it more engaging? That was the question professor Michael F. Rohde, program directorof architectural lighting design at Wismar, asked himself. Wondering if it might be possible to turn the materials—more than 400 questions on lighting technology; the history of light; lamps and luminaries; and human perception into some kind of a game, Rohde approached his colleague, professor Hanka Polkehn, in the communication and graphic design program. Polkehn then assigned the premise as a class project, and two students—Catharina Schimmel and CorinnaReuter—developed the questions into a board game. When played, students forget that they are studying for a lighting exam.

Referred to as "The Game," one to six people can play at a time, answering questions from the deck of 400 cards organized into six color-coded categories: general knowledge, human perception, lamps, luminaires, lighting technology, and the history of light and lighting. A player wins when he or she has moved all six counters (or pieces) three slots on the game board. Adding diversity to the play is a series of action chips,each of which allows the player to challenge another participant and shake up who receives the winning answer.

Currently still a prototype, The Game was played by three teams—a group of students, professional lighting designers, and manufacturers—in a demonstration Oct. 31, after Vox Juventa during the PLDC. Production costs are still being evaluated, but the Professional Lighting Designer's Association hopes to launch The Game as a for-purchase item at Light+Building in April 2010 in Frankfurt.