Photosynthesis is a green strategy board game in which players plant and grow their own forest. The participants play through the lifecycle of a tree species, from its seedling to its rebirth. The goal is to establish your own forest, building a bigger forest in the limited space than your opponents.

The game models the internal and external relations of more-than-human beings, but the actual implications of the gameplay are criticised for not actually destabilising human-centered thinking. The game shows its human-centered bias in turning the woods into a competition rather than a collaboration, causing its biodiversity being sacrificed (Germaine, 2021). Although the game might not be fully scientifically accurate, it does suggest the subjectivity of trees. They are living processes, and players are rewarded for nurturing them (Germaine, 2021).

The game has a botanic theme and scientific process at its core, which the authors argue contest plant blindness (the inability to appreciate plants in one’s own environment, in the biosphere as a whole and their relationship to human affairs.). However, it has been argued that the plants in the game are only abstractly used as a simple resource, and could potentially act as a Trojan horse for abstract design tropes that potentially encourage it. It would then take advantage of the plant theme without offering substance or richness to the concepts it exploits (Fiedersdorff et al., 2019).

Contribute to this article below