Red Queen dynamics in sample game data. Seven groups of students each played the Red Queen game for 15 generations during a class period of Indiana University’s S318 Honors Evolution course. a–d The oscillations in frequencies of host (bold lines) and parasite (faded lines) genotypes (suits) over 15 generations for four different populations (student groups). Frequencies are derived from the numbers of host and parasite individuals of each genotype recorded at each generation (step 4). Matching host and parasite genotype frequencies are displayed in the same color (e.g. the club genotype is in bold blue for host and faded blue for the parasite). Each group experienced multiple oscillations in genotype frequencies, and the trajectories differ widely between groups. e Highlights the time-lagged nature of oscillations for a single matching pair of host (bold) and parasite (faded) genotypes (clubs). Data derived from population 3 above. f The dynamics of the metapopulation: the average frequency of each host and parasite genotype across seven groups (the four shown above plus three additional). The oscillations in genotype frequencies are damped, which we would predict based upon the fact that the game does not include any inherent fitness differences between genotypes. Raw data in Additional file 3.