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ABOUT NEURDGAMES

We invite you, our esteemed Neurds, to navigate the pathways of the nervous system, uncover the secrets of the medicine’s greatest luminaries, and relish terrible medical puns. We take pride in crafting experiences that simultaneously tickle your intellect and ignite curiosity and joy.

Neurologists use their knowledge of the anatomic pathways of the nervous system to localize lesions, or areas that are disrupted. When a patient has a single symptom or abnormality on a physical exam, the lesion could be anywhere along the corresponding pathway. If there are multiple symptoms or signs, the lesion must localize to an area where all the corresponding pathways overlap. This is called neuro-anatomic localization, and it is one of the foundational concepts of clinical neurology. It was also the genesis of our first game, The Lesion: Charcot’s Tournament. Since then, we have branched out into games about the peripheral nervous system, the cranial nerves, the history of women in neurology and pediatrics, and nerdy party games.

While some are designed to help players explore or master the fundamentals of neuroanatomy, others are just silly fun or strategic puzzles with a medical twist.

All of the products made by NeurdGames are funded in part by the Jerry Isler Neuromuscular Fund and the James W. Albers Collegiate Professorship of Neurology. We do not make monetary profit from these games. They are sold and distributed by The Game Crafter at close to cost. We use Game Crafter’s modest markup on in-store credit, which we use to buy additional copies of our games for friends and family.

Copyright 2023 The Regents of the University of Michigan

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OUR TEAM

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Zach London

Game design: All NeurdGames

Zach London, founder of NeurdGames, is a neurologist at the University of Michigan, where he has served as the adult neurology program director for (mumble mumble) years. He is passionate about education beyond the classroom and has dedicated his professional career to creating playful and accessible ways to teach clinical neurology. 

 

His favorite desert island pastimes are localizing lesions, writing songs, playing board games with his family, and crafting puns, rhymes, and blanket forts. NeurdGames marries all those passions (except for the forts.) In the early days of the pandemic, Zach and his family started a board game review website called The Play at Home Order for which the London parents and London kids separately rated and ranked over 100 games.

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Ali Christy

Game design: Endowed Chairs Neurology, Endowed Chairs Pediatrics, Neurdle

Ali Christy is a pediatric neurologist in Portland, Oregon with a focus on neuroimmunology and a love of the history of medicine, particularly the stories of early women physicians. She deputy editor of the Journal of Child Neurology, and she makes podcasts for these journals as well. She especially loves role-playing games and word puzzle games, but she’s willing to play most kinds of games, even though she’s terrible at bowling. She believes life is a cooperative game, and we can all win together.

Favorite reflex hammer: Trömner

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Nina Schwartz

Art: The Lesion, Rooticle

Nina Schwartz has been a graphic designer and impressionist painter for more than 50 years. Much of her work has been in advertising, corporate branding, packaging, publication, and course design. She also sings with her husband’s jazz quartet. Full disclosure… She is Zach’s mother-in-law.

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Lealani Acosta

Art: Rooticle

When not treating patients neurologic,
Dr. Acosta loves all things poetic:
In verse she dwells upon it
With pantoums and sonnets:
Just forgive her this one limerick.

The human form captured her heart,
Specifically, the brain oh so smart.
To draw realistically
Accurately and anatomically
Is her favorite form of art.

Besides drawing faces on a pages,
In the fiber arts she also engages.
She crochets and knits
Hats for neuro outfits,
Like Einstein’s brain and the skull that’s Phineas Gage’s.

 

Selected works include A Healing Handicraft, Frontotemporal Dementia Pantoum: My Mother’s Keeper, You Can Only Get Sick on Tuesdays, and Box of Chocolates.

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Mikaela Stiver

Game design: Foramina!

Dr. Mikaela Stiver, PhD (Twitter @MikaelaStiver) is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Anatomical Sciences, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at McGill University in Montréal, Québec. She teaches neuroanatomy, gross anatomy, and embryology to students in a variety of undergraduate and professional degree programs. She is also a Visiting Professor at the Università di Pavia, delivering musculoskeletal anatomy and neuroanatomy lectures for the Harvey Medical Course. 

 

Mikaela’s current research focuses on developing and implementing innovative teaching approaches with an emphasis on game-based learning. At her core, she is a self-proclaimed ‘neuro nerd’ with a passion for making neuroanatomy less intimidating and more enjoyable for all! Mikaela is an avid word puzzle enthusiast, mother to a pint-sized puppy, and unapologetic overthinker. In her (limited) spare time, she also enjoys bouldering, cycling, and traveling.

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Lorenzo Uccheddu

Art: Endowed Chairs Neurology, Endowed Chairs Pediatrics, Rooticle, Field Cut

Lorenzo Uccheddu (1993) is a freelance visual artist based in Sardinia, Italy. He creates digital illustrations and graphics for board games, posters and books, mostly working with flat vibrant colors. In his free time he mostly reads about ancient cultures, plays with dogs and worries about the future. Check out his portfolio on Instagram.

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Brendan Kelly

Videography: The Lesion, The Plexus, Foramina!, Endowed Chairs, Rooticle, Field Cut

Brendan has quite a few jobs surrounding Media, Entertainment, and Performance and most of them are in video editing and digital animation. As an avid gamer (video and tabletop), and a proud Learner of Things, he especially enjoys creating the video instructions for NeurdGames. In his spare time, Brendan enjoys GMing TTRPGs, watching dropout.tv and other nerd content, and telling his dogs to stop barking so dang much at the bus stop outside of his house, then immediately cuddling with them as soon as they are quiet. You can ask him any questions by emailing him at bakelly21@gmail.com and you can see more of his work on his LInkedIn profile or his personal YouTube where he creates fan clips and compilations.

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Jordan Newman

Game design: Dictation Errors

Jordan lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where during his downtime from game development he spends his leisure hours as a resident physician. His journey into game crafting is relatively new, though he is quite experienced in playing (typically losing) card and board games of all kinds. He also enjoys teaching neurology to medical students, collecting vinyl, debating whether the Chicago Bears will ever field a respectable football team, and watching the same YouTube clip of Anakin vs. Obi-Wan from Revenge of the Sith repeatedly. He lives with his wife Katie and their cat Bella.

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Abigail Seguin

Art: The Plexus

Abigail Seguin is a marketing designer based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with a passion for using visuals to drive business results. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan STAMPS School of Art and Design with a minor in Multidisciplinary Engineering. She is currently enrolled in the Masters of Management program at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business with a graduation date of Spring 2024.

LinkedIn

Artstation

Jim Burke

Game design: The Lesion

Cory Dodson

Game design: Cranial Vault

Alex Dai

Art: Foramina!

Malcolm London

Game concept: Battle Thunder Worm

Micah Wolenberg

Game concept: Battle Thunder Worm

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News and Media

"A Novel Neurology Localization Educational Board Game: The Lesion: Charcot's Tournament" Michigan Medicine. 12/18/20

"Brain Games with Drs. Mikaela Stiver & Zach London" Brain Games Podcast. 9/14/22

"Playing the Academic Game" The Ann Arbor Observer. 12/23/22

"Game Development for Neurology Education" JCN Podcast. 10/26/23

"A Conversation with Dr. Zach London and Dr. Ali Christy: Neurology Through Games" Neurophilia Podcast. March 18, 2024

"Game-Based Learning in Neuroscience" Neurology Podcast. May 20, 2024. 

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