- Click on this link for the complete how-to-play Humans vs. Mosquitoes ruleset.
- See below for a demonstration video of how to play.
- The game can be played with limited materials if need be.
If you have access to printing: Use this link to print the Game Materials (PDF).
If you do not have access or time to print: All you need is to collect 23 small stones or sticks (possibly coins). These do not need to be uniform, they just need to be small enough that they can be hidden from other players’ view. In a pinch, you can use small pieces of paper.
- If you’d like to collect feedback after gameplay, here’s a sample questionnaire.
(full game explanation is available in the ruleset)
Object of the Game:
Demonstrate how climate change will affect humans, mosquitoes, and the transmission of vector-borne infectious diseases.
- Children in developing countries where vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever are prevalent.
- Red Cross Red Crescent workers, parents, teachers, physicians and nurses in developing countries.
- Participants at conferences on climate change and governmental and non-governmental health agencies (such as United Nations, World Health Organization, Red Cross Red Crescent)
- Students in the United States in grades 6–12.
Number of Players:
A minimum of 6 players and 1 facilitator are needed to play the game. Designate 3 players as Humans and 3 as Mosquitoes. Divide the rest of the class into two groups—Team HUMAN and Team MOSQUITO—that provide support and strategy to these players. Players can trade places with teammates at any time throughout the game.
- Table space for each group of 6 players.
- 6 Habitats: Laminated pictures of places where mosquitoes can lay eggs that will hatch (birdbath, freshwater marsh, vernal pool, tire dump, rainwater barrels, and rain gutters).
- 23 Blood Tokens (red glass pebbles or small river rocks): A Blood Token has multiple functions. It represents EGGS for Mosquitoes, LARVAE for Habitats, and HEALTH for Humans.
- 8 Climate Cards, like “Chance Cards” in Monopoly®, introduce a realistic scenario that connects climate change, mosquito behavior, human susceptibility to disease and humanitarian aid.
- 6 Nametags for players.
- Dice to roll to determine which Mosquito dies when a Habitat is cleared.
The game is like Rock, Paper, Scissors mixed with Freeze Tag. When the facilitator says “1,2,3, GO!” each player commits to an action and freezes.
Both teams just want to stay alive and win! (It is better if the Humans win, but this is not always the outcome.) Mosquitoes WIN if they kill all the Humans first, by depleting their HEALTH! Humans WIN if they kill all the Mosquitoes first, by clearing out Habitats where eggs hatch into LARVAE!
Thank you to the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History for their support and for integrating Humans vs. Mosquitoes into their curriculum.
Game Demo Video
Thank you Christine Lawlor-King and her students for putting together this video demonstrating how to play Humans vs. Mosquitoes!