Wingspan! Spend A Night In With Birds! Science! Caterpillars! : Short Wave Wingspan is a board game that brings the world of ornithology into the living room. The game comes with 170 illustrated birds cards, each equipped with a power that reflects that bird's behavior in nature. Wingspan game designer Elizabeth Hargrave speaks with Short Wave's Emily Kwong about her quest to blend scientific accuracy with modern board game design. (encore)

Wingspan! Spend A Night In With Birds! Science! Caterpillars!

Wingspan! Spend A Night In With Birds! Science! Caterpillars!

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1072205100/1072216896" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

A male ruby-throated hummingbird is one of the birds featured in the board game Wingspan. Elise Amendola / AP hide caption

toggle caption
Elise Amendola / AP

A male ruby-throated hummingbird is one of the birds featured in the board game Wingspan.

Elise Amendola / AP

A board game night in 2014 changed Elizabeth Hargrave's life. While her friends loved board games, they were tired of the themes — the repetition of games set in Ancient Rome or Medieval Europe. Her husband suggested a board game about birds. Elizabeth ran with the idea. Wingspan was published and has since sold over a million copies. The game comes with 170 illustrated birds cards, each equipped with a power that reflects that bird's behavior in nature. Emily Kwong reports on the runaway success of Wingspan and Elizabeth Hargrave's quest to blend scientific accuracy with modern game design. (Encore)

Write us with your favorite games at shortwave@npr.org. You can follow Emily on Twitter at emilykwong1234.

This episode was produced by Rebecca Ramirez and edited by Viet Le.