TECHNOLOGY It’s hardly news that most of us view the world in an augmented way—through our smartphones. And it’s not unusual to see folks wandering the streets half-blindly with eyes glued to their screens. But Pokémon Go may still have sparked a few things: it’s gotten people outside to observe the world around them. And, to any geographer’s delight, they’re using maps along the way. … Continue reading 5 Ways to Trick Students Into Learning with Pokemón Go
Katie Strong, this week’s Educator of the Week, invented a fun game to teach about the amazing biodiversity and interconnected nature of ecosystems. Katie is the Assistant to the Director at All One Ocean, a nonprofit with the mission of increasing youth and community awareness of the impacts that marine debris have on ocean ecosystems, marine life and human health, and to encourage environmental stewardship by supporting … Continue reading Educator Spotlight: The Tower of Life
Show me a man whose favorite game is Risk, and I’ll show you a man who’s never played Settlers. With those words, my dear friend Colin kicked off a round of the board game, Settlers of Catan. I didn’t know this game existed until last year, when my former roommate Dan (also a geo-nerd) introduced it to me. I’m not sure how I managed to graduate … Continue reading A Resource Management Lesson: Settlers of Catan
In 7th grade I created my most memorable school assignment: a Risk-style board game based on a map of the 13 original U.S. colonies. Forging the mechanics and the content of the game challenged my intellect, and deepened my understanding of U.S. history and geography. The assignment also left me with a tangible product, something more useful than an essay.
Alison, my wonderful co-intern, has a similar story: “In 8th grade I made a game called ‘Communist Monopoly’ for an honors history class. Essentially, you had to hold onto your idealism as long as possible, and not be corrupt. But, the game was designed to make you cheat the system…eventually you had to sell off your family members. I made the game to make a point.”
Making board games is a great educational tool, and we hope this post inspires you to make a game about…whatever interests you! To get you started, I’m sharing the wisdom of game enthusiast Eric Kugler, who sent us some great game design advice after he read our first games post.