UCCS prof’s embattled board game named in WIRED magazine

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The Khet 2.0 laser board game created in part by UCCS professor Michael Larson won mention in the current issue of WIRED magazine because it tops a teenage Google Science Fair winner’s holiday wish list.

Science fair winner Lauren Hodge’s  list was published because the magazine considers her a teen with “geek cred.”

She earned the distinction after winning in the 13-14 age group at this year’s Google Science Fair. She conducted an investigation into the carcinogenic properties of burnt chicken, which examined heterocyclic amines, specifically phenylmethylimidazopyridine, a carcinogenic compound in grilled chicken.

Khet, the Egyptian word for fire, allows players to shoot lasers at opponents’ game pieces, which include pharaohs, pyramids and scarabs.

The game was created by three engineers, including Larson, who is director of Mind Studios at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. The trio sells their game through their company, Innovention Toys.

For the past three years, Innovention Toys, has been embroiled in a patent lawsuit that accuses toy-making giant MGA Entertainment, known for Bratz dolls and Little Tykes products, of ripping off the the laser-game design.

Courts ruled that Innovention Toys may continue to sell its game, but barred MGA from making sales until the suit is settled. A trial is set for April 30 in Louisiana, where the game was created.

Hodge, one of seven tech celebrities WIRED surveyed,  said of Khet 2.0: “Combines my love of spatial puzzles with my love of Egypt! Move the mirror pieces to direct laser beams into your opponent’s pieces.”

Visit www.khet.com for more information about the game, including where to buy it locally.

Read the Business Journal’s story about the court battle here.