Sorry for the lack of a post last week, and the late one this week. You can blame this new little gamer, who showed up on 4/4/14:
Mom and baby (Elizabeth) are both happy and healthy, although mom and I are quite tired. Fortunately, we have just one week of school left before finals! My sub unfortunately fell through, so the students did not get to play Hearts, and I never snuck in For Sale because both Dominion and Bohnanza took much longer than I anticipated. However, Bohnanza, Hearts, and For Sale all encompassed the same prompt, essentially, which I gave them this week: in all three games, it’s easy to make an emotional decision rather than a rational one. Many obvious examples come up of this being a bad tactic at least in a business sense, but is it ever good to make emotional decisions? (Isn’t that what marriage is?) How do you know if you’re making an emotional decision – and whether it’s a good or bad idea?
I think it’s a good prompt; however, the students did not seem very enthralled with Bohnanza this week. And this goes back to it actually being a rather complicated game. Dominion is the game I thought would give the most trouble, but it again showed why it’s such a favorite of mine: the complexity is in the cards and not the rules, so figuring the game out is natural. On the flip side, Bohnanza is a game created by taking the basic idea of a hand cards and forcing rule upon rule onto it until it creates meaningful decisions, which means it has much more up-front complexity.
The Dominion essays were fantastic, despite a rather simple, “boring” prompt. I told them that, and told them that I thought it stemmed from the fact that they all really enjoyed the game, which inspired them to write better. They seemed to agree as well. I can’t believe it took me getting properly scared by Dominion to think of doing a digital walkthrough of me playing before we began the game. I already had Ticket to Ride on my iPad and should have done it there; immediately after this realization, I went and bought the Forbidden Island app as well. I looked for a Bohnanza app to no avail – maybe someone can help me out there?
Next week, we are playing The Resistance, an absolute all-time favorite of mine. I’ll do one more update after that, since I’m using our meeting during finals week as a chance to do a survey on the class and for them to take a study break by playing the games they enjoyed the most. See you soon!