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Educational Board Game Design. Part One Advantages, Limitations, Types & Structures. Strengths of Board Games. Easily Stored Self-Contained Familiar Format. Limitations of Board Games. Class use requires multiple copies

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educational board game design

Educational Board Game Design

Part OneAdvantages, Limitations,Types & Structures

strengths of board games
Strengths of Board Games
  • Easily Stored
  • Self-Contained
  • Familiar Format
limitations of board games
Limitations of Board Games
  • Class use requires multiple copies
  • Easily played just for fun unless the educational content is well integrated
  • Losing one piece can render the whole game useless (though less so than for card games)
types of board games
Types of Board Games
  • Linear Movement or Race Games
    • Pieces move along a path (e.g. Monopoly, Candy Land)
  • 2-D Pattern Games
    • Object is to build patterns of pieces (e.g. Go, Othello, Scrabble)
types of board games5
Types of Board Games
  • Battlefield
    • Pieces attack other pieces, removing them from the board (e.g., Chess, Risk)
  • Combination
    • Games which combine elements of the other 3 categories (e.g. Backgammon)
board game design phases
Board Game Design Phases
  • Do Front End Work
  • Draft a Preliminary Design
  • Produce Prototype
  • Conduct Field Trials
  • Revise as Needed
  • Publish, Disseminate and/or Use
in search of elegance
In Search of Elegance
  • Elegance = congruity between the forms of the game and structures within the content, such as...
    • Movement through space, time
    • Shortcuts
    • Obstacles
    • Patterns of elements
    • Prizes, trophies, treasures
example content game structures
Example Content+Game Structures
  • Content: Movement through space or time
    • Getting a Masters degree
    • Stages of digestion
    • Evolution
    • The process of impeachment
  • Game: paths in a race game
example content game structures9
Example Content+Game Structures
  • Content: Shortcuts
    • Marrying into money
    • Mutation
    • Scientific breakthrough
    • Finding the “smoking gun”
  • Game: jumping along or between paths in a race game
example content game structures10
Example Content+Game Structures
  • Content: Obstacles
    • Insufficient money or other resources
    • Not enough votes
    • Mountains or deserts to cross
    • Lack of data
  • Game: blockage in paths in a race game or the absence of a path
example content game structures11
Example Content+Game Structures
  • Content: Patterns of Elements as Goal
    • Balanced meals
    • Balanced life
    • Electoral College votes
  • Game: acquisition of cards or tokens in particular combinations
example content game structures12
Example Content+Game Structures
  • Content: Elements with different levels of power
    • Superintendent vs Principal vs. teacher
    • Large countries vs small
    • Microsoft vs just about anyone else
  • Game: use of game pieces that can move more flexibly or that can overcome other pieces
example content game structures13
Example Content+Game Structures
  • Content: Elements with different levels of value
    • Rare coins vs common ones
    • Real estate in La Jolla vs. somewhere else
    • Gold vs silver vs bronze medals
  • Game: tokens or play money to allow the acquisition of these elements or to use as scorekeeping devices
example content game structures14
Example Content+Game Structures
  • Content: Choices and Decisions
    • Go on to college, or get a job?
    • Attack the Nazis now, or wait?
    • Buy Qualcomm or Apple stock?
  • Game: branches in the path of a race game, or strategies for deploying pieces or tokens.
example content game structures15
Example Content+Game Structures
  • Content: Variations in Risk
    • Buying futures options vs. stocks
    • Running an attack ad against your opponent
    • Quitting your job to start a small business
  • Game: parallel paths with more penalty squares on the shorter path, or chance cards in different stacks depending on risk.
example content game structures16
Example Content+Game Structures
  • Content: Changing Environment
    • The stock market turns from bullish to bearish
    • After the revolution, those closest to the king are now most in danger
    • Drastic climate change bodes ill for reptiles
  • Game: changing the rules or structures during the game.
example content game structures17
Example Content+Game Structures
  • Content:Random or Uncontrolled Events
    • Weather
    • Prices of raw materials
    • Other people’s behavior
  • Game: dice, spinners, or chance cards