Sunday, January 20, 2013

Look Ma', No Board!

When people ask about my hobby, I tend to respond with, "table top gaming."  If I simply tell others that I'm a gamer, they usually think of console video games.  I could tell people that I play board games, but that invites homophonous jibes and ignores huge segments of the games that I play.

This week, I wanted to explore three fun, family games that don't have boards.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The 8x8 Board


Chess has been with us, in one form or another, for centuries.  Scholars still debate from where we got chess, and even why it is called 'chess'.  It is a very established game, and even those who don't know how to play, know what it is.  Because it is ubiquitous, chess is a good family game.  There is a global community of chess players, and an international body to rank players.  One can find dozens of good, simple websites to explain the rules, and hundreds of books to explain the theory.

The Idea

Last year, my son's elementary school had a chess club.  I had the chance to help out with that, and I thought it was brilliant.  The kids, mostly third through fifth graders, with nearly as many girls as boys, took to it quickly.  By the end of the year, some of them even started to go beyond merely understanding the rules, to really understanding the mechanics behind the game.