The content and flow of your subscription
The first steps of your exploration of life pattern code start with very simple and familiar game rules. The Mountainkin card game, with a companion computer code game, is as simple as rock-paper-scissors. This gets you familiar with turning game rules into code.
Another beginner game is our creepy, crawly Bug-in-a-row. The simple rules are the same as Tic-Tac-Toe. The computer version shows you how to code a simple pattern detector. You can personalize both of these games with your own photos or art.
Simple first steps, building skills for new adventures in coding, creating increasingly more complex patterns.
Each month’s subscription kit builds on skills from the previous ones. By the third month, you will see how complex life patterns emerge from simple rules. Our board game Little Tip turns Rock-Paper-Scissors into a social pressure game, exploring behavior patterns of groups. Learn to turn the board game rules into computer code and observe how these rules are applied to the patterns of group behavior. Within the collective action, see beautiful patterns emerge on the game board and computer screen. While having fun with a challenging strategic game, you will learn to model and code a simple ecosystem.
Ecosystem adventures continue with your next board game. Take a trip to the Rocky Mountains and learn to code a predator-prey ecosystem. The interaction of Wolves and Elk (Hunters & Grazers board game and companion computer code model) is based on a classic predator-prey model, but with added twists to make it a challenging strategic game. The game comes with a richly illustrated book on predator-prey systems and also a rhyming picture book about the elk ecosystem at the edge of the meadow.
STEAM power your learning
Our life pattern games integrate science, technology, reading, engineering, art and math. The games take you from tangible linen textured color games to computer code of the same games. Going from there to life pattern awareness activities applies what you learn to the world around you. See how code drives natural life patterns, and how technology can generate life-like patterns that you can enhance with your own creative input. This is an elegant and frugal way to gain S.T.E.A.M. skills.
Co-create spirals
Subscribers receive our Patterning Spirals: Coloring Book with Two Meditations and Illustrated “Science of Floral Spiraling.” We also have a Kindle version, which is not a coloring book, but includes many color images of spirals, the illustrated science of floral spiraling, and two meditations. The meditations promote awareness of symmetrical patterns in nature. The narrative and toy model of spiraling shows how the golden angle and Fibonacci numbers show up in real floral spirals, including sunflowers, pine cones, pine apples, daisies and many more plants.
Learn how to code the golden angle spiral model in either Scratch (simple drag and drop commands), NetLogo (very flexible and thorough for studying emergence), or Python (an advanced language used in all industries). We created the model in all three programs. See our spirals page to learn more.
Your subscription includes a copy of Sneeze, where you’ll learn about modeling simple behavior and spread of disease through a social network.

Infection is spreading through the Meadowkin. Some sneeze. Some cover, some don’t.

Our infect-protect game model applies well to an infection spreading to neighbors through sneezing, but can be prevented by covering, with hands or a mask. This behavior (protecting or not) spreads through the Meadowkin social network. This game is based on our “infect-protect-defect” game, that we published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology. Playing the board game and accompanying computer game, is a fun way to learn about modeling a social and biological ecology.
One can study ecosystem patterns and, within them, biological life patterns, with the tools of computers, chemistry, physics, statistics. The sciences, while commonly split into such categories, also can integrate around the theme of emerging pattern. Our game “Gather” shows how biological forms gather and channel energy using leaves or lungs then branching tree structures, created by a repeated splitting off of vessels, following an area preserving pattern. These are patterns across scales of size (tree fractals) such as branching circulatory structures that deliver potential energy to tissues.
Tree-like branching transport structures are found throughout nature. At the terminal points are tiny membrane bag batteries (mitochondria) that show virtually the same pattern in all life forms, the chemistry and physics of which likewise shows a common pattern of energy storing proton gradients.  In “Gather,” you try to store up energy over time in proton gradients, and use these to convert to chemical energy.
In our game “Scatter,” patterns degenerate due to random movement. While this is a straightforward lesson in probabilities using a spinner and tiles on a board, the deeper lesson is that this occurs in the natural world where order degenerates due to entropy, the second law of thermodynamics, a fundamental law of physics.   We use a computer model show how the dynamics in “Scatter” combine with those in “Gather” in real life forms, which form life patterns while also contributing to global energy dissipation, a disordering of energy and, ultimately, decay of life patterns.
This is only a small sampling of the content you receive. See our other pages for more models, games, stories and activities.