Friday, December 10, 2004

Board Games and Competition

Via Seb, an article about successful board games designed to let everybody win. It's a fascinating take on competition in games with educational undertones, even drawing on Howard Gardner's work in multiple intelligences. The tension, as the designers see it:
"If there's too much competition in one of their games, it'll turn into a snarling Nietzschean contest. But too little competition can be just as bad. That's just plain boring, and risks turning into a well-meaning but tedious educational game that 'just doesn't have any juice,' as Alexander puts it."
Interesting that anything associated with an educational game is automatically shunned, even though these games are clearly great learning experiences. So much of school is competitive, and competition is one way to engage some students...but so much of the "real world" is collaborative and creative, with many shades of grey, rather than simple winning blacks or losing whites. The author of the article also blogs about it a bit.

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