The Impact of Games

It’s been a mad mad week at work. Somehow I’ve got through it. I’ve been shattered both physically and emotionally in the evenings. Often this week being out like a light by 8pm!

But it’s scenes like the above photo that make it all worth it.

In a workshop this week I introduced some students to a game called Ricochet Robots. My plan for the game and main purpose of the game was, and still is to use the game as a lesson starter activity. But I thought I’d test it out first.

The students loved it. Not only did the ones playing it really enjoy it. The game and the students playing drew in class mates too. Who couldn’t help but try to solve the current puzzle also while looking on!

At the start of this academic year I’d bought in some games to play in induction week. Love Letter Batman was a hit (I have four copies of this now specifically for using with students). A couple asking where they could get it. Sadly I had to tell them their FLGS had none in currently because I had just bought up its remaining copies for them to play with.

I’d also used both my copies of King of Tokyo with a class. Another hit. 

But with two students a game of zombie dice was enough to break the ice, that a real friendship has started up.

We’ve also had a six player game of ultimate werewolf as an ice breaker. But I’ve plans for that in the near future.

In the past Munchkin and The Resistance have also been popular. I’ve yet to get these to the table with my students here.

I love using board games with students. Especially in induction week as team builders, ice breakers etc. I prefer them to the old stale activities of build a bridge out of paper etc.

Back to the photo above. What hasn’t been told is the magic that the game worked on one of the students. The little break from their reality it gave, allowing them to be for a brief moment a teenager again without the problems of the world on their shoulders.

The students also remembered they had Doctor Who Risk at home. Which was bought in the next day and played at lunchtime in the canteen. Swines not inviting me to play!

But it’s these moments that make it all worth while.

Next up on my list of games to try is the Timelines series. I think this will make a great starter.

Plus I’d love to convince management that a board game club would make great enrichment along side the more traditional activities on offer. I can dream.
Epilogue: what makes a great game for students? For me it’s a game that ticks the following:

  • teach in less than five minutes
  • is quick to pick up
  • ideally play more than four players with little downtime
  • theme has to be appealing
  • Fun!
  • Ideally not expensive – this is my pocket it’s coming out of

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