Friday, September 19, 2008

BoardGames in Intro to Games & Society

Close of up game board.Image via WikipediaToday we played board and card games in the Introduction to Games & Society class. I divided the students up into 10 groups of 3. Each group was assigned a game to play. We'll play each game for 2 weeks and then rotate to a new game. I gave each student a booklet with copies of the rules for 12 games. Hopefully over the semester we can get most of those 12 played by at least half the class.

The goal is to experience a lot of different game mechanics, different styles of writing rules and balancing the games. Game designers need to be mroe aware of how people learn to play how much people hate to read the rules, and how they try to compare new games with what they know already. They'll also see games from different publishers, different game creators, even different countries. We have some party games. We have some Euro games. Hopefully after they play a few games they will start to see similarities and we can discuss why the differences exist.

This is part of a bigger assignment where they have to learn games, teach them to other people and compare the games. So playing, teaching, writing, researching, and thinking.

Here's the game we played today: Carcassone, Ticket to Ride (board) Ticket to Ride (card), Amazing Space Venture, Colossal Arena, Apples to Apples, Nuclear Escalation, and Race for the Galaxy. 2 groups went together to play Apples to Apples and 2 others to play Nuclear Escalation - both of those games support larger groups. I'd seen all of these played at the Boardgame Championships in Lancaster, PA during the summer 2008, but I'm not expert at any of them.

They weren't all equally liked at least at first exposure. Race for the Galaxy is hard to get started playing. Amazing Space Venture has a lot of pieces which can be intimidating for new users.

Here are some pictures. We're all sprawled on the floor. We found tables for the 2 large groups. The noise level wasn't too bad fortunately.

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