Student News: Introducing ‘Mer-Plant-Ilism’

Blog written by Christin Simons. Christin is a 3rd year PhD student at the Institute for Scottish History studying the perception of the Scandinavian East India Companies.

Elena Romero Passerin (left) and Christin Simons (right) with their new board game. Photo provided by Christin Simons.

PhD candidates Christin Simons and Elena Romero Passerin have shared an office in the Bute building since 2017. In 2018 they came up with the idea of creating a board game based on their PhD research. Combining the History of Botany and Maritime History resulted in a board game now funded by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities. It was shown for the first time at the Doctoral Showcase in Glasgow on 20 June 2019.

Mer-Plant-Ilism is a strategy board game, in which players can play the character of a botanist from Spain, the Netherlands, Great Britain, France, Sweden, or Austria traveling with trading company ships to collect exotic vegetal specimens from all over the world. The game is set in the frame of 18th century mercantilism and considers historical events of the time.

Mer-Plant-Ilism, the board game. Photo provided by Christin Simons.

Missions and event cards make the collecting of the plants a real challenge. The game can be played by up to 6 players. During the game players may trade with each other or form alliances, but beware, the odds can change within a single roll of the die!

About standrewshistory
With over forty fulltime members of staff researching and teaching on European, American and Asian history from the dawn of the Middle Ages to the present day, the School of History at the University of St Andrews has one of the finest faculty and diverse teaching programmes of any School of History in the English speaking world. The School boasts expertise in Mediaeval and Modern History, from Scotland to Byzantium and the Americas to South Asia. Thematic interests include religious history, urban history, transnationalism, historiography and nationalism. The School of History prides itself on small group teaching, allowing for in-depth study and supervision tailored to secure the best from each student. Cutting edge research combined with teaching excellence offer a dynamic and intellectually stimulating environment for the study of History.

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