Would it be safe to say, in all of your games, there are no losers? And if so, why is that a good thing.
My games are outside of the usual win/lose paradigm. There is usually an objective to be realized, but I don’t specify that if you achieve the objective, then you all win and if you don’t achieve the objective, then you all lose. What I do state is that at the end of the game, you determine how far along you got.
How many vegetables did you store away before winter set in? How far up the mountain did you get before you had to return home? Thus, there is always a measure of success to celebrate. This is more like real life and out of the box of rewards and punishments. I recommend studying the work of the psychologist, Alfie Kohn, who makes clear why being realistic is a good thing.
I also design games that are purely co-operative, in which the players are engaged in a process with no particular objective to work towards. Examples of these are such titles as PERSONAL PORTRAITS and FIRST IMPRESSIONS. Sometimes, people just want to play a game for the fun of it. And my definition of fun does not involve the shedding of blood and maiming of limbs.
AUGUST NEWS 2016
‘Tis the season for young and old to prepare for school. And when I say “young”, these days I do mean young. Reminiscing…I wasn’t 6 years old until November, so technically I was not quite old enough to enter grade 1. I watched with some sadness as my buddies went off to school, while I stayed home and even at that early age to amuse myself I invented games to play. My mother says that to this very day I still play games and should seriously think about getting a real job. But back to the present…our neighbour’s child is eligible for school. The little one tested with a strong pulse, is able to move her limbs freely and can say, Goo. Off to school she goes next month. Times have indeed changed.
Co-operative games have proven to require less teacher intervention than games where only one can win and everyone else loses. So, in the interests of furthering the needs of early and late education, what follows is my list of recommended educational resources.
FOR THE YOUNG
Animal Trackers – learn about wild animals, their tracks, homes, habits
Beautiful Place – children’s ecology game
Early Years – early educational tools for math, spelling, story telling
Home Builders – puzzle together homes in different cultures
Ssh Mom’s Asleep – learning good manners and helping with the chores
Yard Sale – reduce, recycle, reuse
Zucchini – grocery shopping, menu planning
SEVEN TO ADULT
Birds of Summer – birds, babies, predators
Let’s Go Digging – archaeology for kids
Let’s Go Sugaring – how to make maple syrup
NINE TO ADULT
Let’s Go Hiking – hiking skills, what to look for, what to avoid
Then There Were None – saving endangered species
Games Kit – paper/pencil games for math and spelling in any language Games Manual – active co-operative games for the young requiring little or no equipment
TWELVE TO ADULT
Explorers – adventure scenarios of various explorers based on their journals and diaries
New America – college level challenges to redesign the social system of North America
Messages – create verbal messages, mental quickness required
Starwords – form words based on the photographs provided
Choices – a values game about making moral choices
Not An Island – talking and writing about how to get back to our Time Machine
Together – we form tribes and try to make friends and lasting peace