We are a double bottom line company. Our goals are to keep ourselves in business and to increase general knowledge of molecular behavior. Proteins, lipids, drugs, allergens, vaccines, degradable plastic, ocean acidification, heath: molecules are the key to understanding many important concepts. We will accomplish our goals by creating games that take place in the molecular world and making them available to as wide an audience as possible.
Melanie Stegman, Ph.D., is the owner and Creative Director of Molecular Jig Games. A biochemist for 10 years, Melanie studied the molecular causes of brain cancer, birth defects and Tuberculosis. In 2008, Melanie took over the Immune Attack game project at a think tank in DC. Successful at grant writing and biochemistry teaching, Melanie taught herself education research, game design and product management. Inspirations include Adventure, Micro Surgeon, StarCraft, Legend of Zelda, and Plants vs. Zombies. (See MolecularJig.com/research for Melanie’s work and CV.)
John Biddle, Ph.D., is the technical half of Immune Defense. In addition to providing smooth and flexible code, John applies his encyclopedic knowledge of adventure, strategy and RPGs to design discussions.
Our current project is Immune Defense, a strategy game in which players manage the immune cells in a fight against viruses, bacteria and parasites. Players equip individual cells with proteins that impart various (real) abilities.
We have presented Immune Defense at juried shows like Seattle Indies Expo (SIX at PAX), Music and Games Fest in DC (MAGFest), Gamescape in Baltimore, MD and Immune Defense is well received by a broad audience.
Started by Melanie Stegman in 2009 as a National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded project, we incorporated core fundamentals of molecular cell biology into a game lets players make fun, strategic decisions. Further adventures in cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and mental health are planned. Cell Runner is the beginning of our diabetes game!
Melanie Stegman conducted one of the first controlled, quantitative studies of games and learning (on our first game, Immune Attack): we showed increases in learning and confidence with molecular cell biology. Our research paper is free at MolecularJig.com/research.
If you study a microbe and want to help us portray it correctly, if you make a drug and want to fund our work on your disease, if you are any kind of scientist and would like to be involved, email us at
Melanie at MolecularJig dot com.