Let me begin by saying thank you to all the presenters, participants, and attendees of the inaugural CUNY Games Festival! We’re pretty darn pleased with how it turned out and hope to see you at the next one.
I received a few questions from educators during the conference about game mechanics–specifically, how to learn more about them. It’s true that having a wide breadth of knowledge about mechanics can only serve to improve your ability to make games, and although it might be best to learn about mechanics by playing more games, I have definitely found Board Game Geek’s Encyclopedia of mechanics to be helpful. And so I share it with you!
From the article…
A week before the test, I told my class that the Game Theory exam would be insanely hard—far harder than any that had established my rep as a hard prof. But as recompense, for this one time only, students could cheat. They could bring and use anything or anyone they liked, including animal behavior experts. (Richard Dawkins in town? Bring him!) They could surf the Web. They could talk to each other or call friends who’d taken the course before. They could offer me bribes. (I wouldn’t take them, but neither would I report it to the dean.) Only violations of state or federal criminal law such as kidnapping my dog, blackmail, or threats of violence were out of bounds.
Gasps filled the room. The students sputtered. They fretted. This must be a joke. I couldn’t possibly mean it. What, they asked, is the catch?
“None,” I replied. “You are UCLA students. The brightest of the bright. Let’s see what you can accomplish when you have no restrictions and the only thing that matters is getting the best answer possible.”
In case all the ideas on this website aren’t enough, I just found a great blog that gives you a steady stream of cool classroom ideas, mostly for elementary school, but I already see a couple I can modify to use in my community college classroom. The author is Mike Perry, and he taught high school math, but many of the games will work with any subject. http://classroomgamesandtech.blogspot.com/
For example, here’s a game called “This or that” that would work well as an ice breaker in any class at the start of the year: http://www.prometheanplanet.com/en-us/Resources/Item/92529/this-or-that-game