Edited by David Millians
Paideia School, 1509 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30307 USA
Autumn & Winter 1998
Volume 5, Number 4
This is a rather short issue, composed primarily of reviews. If you have material to share, stories to relate, or reviews to post, please do be sure to send it with the start of 1999. I look forward to hearing from you.
My classroom bustles with energy and ideas. A dedicated group played roleplaying games during their breaks for the fist month or more of the school year. Card games were the rage for a time, and several - Aquarius and Magic - remain popular. Several board games have arrived, and they have been greeted with enthusiasm and careful scrutiny. Bosworth in particular seems to be doing well, and we hope to review it in the next issue. Risk, an old favorite, is also popular.
Our central subject this year is the modern world, and each of the thirty student represents one of the world's major nations. There are many games appropriate and valuable for this study. Risk, already mentioned, and Supremacy inform us about geography. Mancala, Go, Chess, and other traditional games allow us to explore and compare distant societies. We are eagerly exploring the possibilities.
I have designed a huge board game using a map of the world. Students travel from their own nations to others in order to gain influence and to have opportunities to make alliances.
As mentioned this is the first issue using our new electronic distribution system through rpg.net. Thank you, Emma and Sandy! If you want to join, just give us an address:
If you have received this issue in error or if you wish to receive the paper version of the newsletter, please do let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or through www.rpg.net. If you notice problems in distribution, please also let us know so that we may iron out the kinks in this initial attempt.
Peter L. de Rosa announces that the first issue of Academic Gaming Review is now available online at www.gis.net/~pldr/index.html. The next issue will be published in January and feature Power Play, by Brian Train.
Academic Gaming Review publishes freeware and shareware games suitable for classroom use. If you are interested in this type of publication, contact the editor via e-mail at email@example.com.
Academic Gaming Review publishes only games. Game reviews and articles on methodology should be sent to Games & Education.
Check it out!
Atlas Games demonstrated Once Upon A Time at a local school, a Montessori magnet school, and the reception was hugely positive. The sales manager is actually working with them now to sell the game as a fund raiser. He mentioned the idea when he was there showing the game; two days later the teacher who had arranged for them to demo there called back to say she had sixty two orders already! This has them thinking that Once Upon A Time as school fund raiser may have some potential as a marketing ploy. The 50% that goes to the school is better than some fund raising items deliver. Atlas Games, P.O. Box 131233, Roseville, Minnesota 55113; (612) 638-0077; fax: (612) 638-0084; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Avalon Hill offers a 40% discount for teachers. Avalon Hill Game Company, 4517 Harford Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21214-9989; (410) 254-9200 or (800) 999-3222; email@example.com.
Chaosium offers a 20% discount on any purchase of five or more books. You can mix and match as you see fit. Chaosium, 950-A 56th Street, Oakland, California 94608; (415) 547-7681; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flying Buffalo has special group rates for classes who want to participate in their play by mail games. Rick Loomis, Flying Buffalo, P.O. Box 1467, Scottsdale, Arizona 85252; (602) 945-6917; FAX (602) 994-1170; Answering Machine (602) 994-0658; email@example.com; www.flyingbuffalo.com.
Global Games offers a 50% discount on games, plus $5 shipping and handling. Global Games, 1647 St. Clair Avenue West Unit 215A, Toronto, Ontario M6H 1H7 CANADA; (416) 516-9118; fax: (416) 516-4690.
Mayfair Games will send FREE train games to classrooms. Simply request this on school letterhead. Mayfair Games, P.O. Box 48539, Niles, Illinois 60648; (708) 647-9650 or (800) 432-4376; fax: (847) 647-0939; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Raven Star Game Design offers a 50% discount when purchase requests are written on school letterhead. Raven Star Game Design, 31600 Schoenherr - M1D, Warren, Michigan 48093.
Strunk Games offers discounts for the educational market. They carry such games as Stack, Abalone, and Omnigon. Strunk Games, PO Box 64, Eustis, Maine 04936; 1-800-669-3315; fax: (207) 246-4263.
Publishers interested in working with the educational market have been asking how best to advertise their products in this unfamiliar field. Below are listed several of my favorite catalog services, listings I and thousands of other teachers consult in planning curricula and ordering materials. Others are encouraged to send information on other avenues as well.
I am sure that the requirements and expectations vary among these educational publishers. Please, let the rest of know how helpful or nor these resources are.
Creative Publications, 5623 West 115th Street, Worth, Illinois 60482-9931
This catalog offers puzzles, manipulatives, and problem solving activities.
Education Publishing Service, 31 Smith Place, Cambridge, Massachusetts
EPS lists activity books and books about the teaching craft.
Interact, 1825 Gillespie Way #101, El Cajon, California 92020-1095;
Interact produce a clear, structured, educational simulations.
Social Studies School Service, 10200 Jefferson Boulevard
P.O. Box 802, Culver City, California 90232-0802
This catalog is everything social studies, from geography to adolescent interpersonal skills
Worldwide Games, P.O. Box 517, Colchester, Connecticut 06415-0517;
Worldwide Games lists beautiful puzzles, games, models, and toys. West End Games advertises Sherlock Holmes here.
There are several other publications which may interest some of you. What information is valuable to you? Are you aware of any other useful resources?
The CAR-PGa Newsletter is published by the Committee for the Advancement of Role-Playing Games. Originally founded to address attacks on gamers, gaming, and the hobby, it has evolved into a more general support organization, promoting a variety of projects, including our own. You can reach Paul Cardwell, Jr., the chairman of the group, at 1127 Cedar, Bonham, TX 75418. Membership in the group is free, though supporting work is expected, and subscriptions to the newsletter are $10 for the USA and $13.50 overseas.
GAMA Membership Directory: Rick Loomis (Flying Buffalo, Inc.), P.O. Box 1467, Scottsdale, Arizona 85252 (602) 945-6917 (602) 994-1170 (fax)
GAMA Newsletter: Ann Dupuis, P.O. Box 838, Randolph, MA 02368-0838; email@example.com
GAMA WWW page: Charles Ryan (Chameleon Eclectic), P.O. Box 10262, Blacksburg, Virginia 24062-0262 firstname.lastname@example.org
Gaming Intelligence is a weekly ezine full of up to date news, reviews, commentary on a wide range of board games, role playing games, war games, and more. Visit its website at www.io.com/mjg/gi or send email to email@example.com.
Graustark is a fine monthly newsletter dedicated to PBEM Diplomacy, historical fiction reviews, and the state of the hobby. Contact John Boardman, 2334 East 19th Street, New York, New York 11226-5302.
Industry Insights Newsletter: Ann Dupuis, P.O. Box 838, Randolph, MA 02368-0838; firstname.lastname@example.org
Metagame, a publication of the Interactive Literature Foundation, can be found at www.metagame.com. The purpose of the ILF is to further live roleplaying as a whole. A future issue will cover EMT training and business larping. Metagame is now also available through paper subscription s from ILF, P.O. Box 196, Merrifield, Virginia 22116; 703-642-5479 or Gold Rush Games, P.O. Box 2531, Elk Grove, California 95759-2531; 916-684-9443.
Paper Mayhem is a bimonthly magazine dedicated to Play By Mail Games like Star Webs and Feudal Lords. Bob Albrecht, among others, recommends it, and PBMs could allow your students to meet the challenges of games in a much broader context than a single classroom or school can provide. A one year subscription is $31.00, and you can contact them at Paper Mayhem, Department PM, 1518 Adams Street, Ottawa, IL 61350-4770.
Simulation & Gaming is a professional publication of the Association of Business Simulation and Experiential Learning (ABSEL), the International Simulation and Gaming Association (ISAGA), the Japanese Association of Simulation and Gaming (JASAG), and the North American Simulation and Gaming Association (NASAGA). It is scholarly and rarefied and can be very interesting. It is aimed primarily at academics and business or military simulators. If interested ($50), contact Sage Publications, 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320.
Strategy & Tactics is a bimonthly magazine of military history and military history games. Each issue contains a complete game. Articles, maps, and tables present and explain battles and wars through the ages. You can reach the publishers at Decision Games, P.O. Box 4049, Lancaster, California 93534-4049; 805-943-6832; fax 805-943-5452; email@example.com.
During a training session, executives in Brazil distributed 1800 copies of the GURPS Basic Rule Book from Steve Jackson Games! The games were classified as training manuals. Other Brazilian corporations also make use of published gaming material, and the government sponsors game workshops as part of their support for arts and culture.
Nicolas Jequier of XID Creative is developing a series of historical adventure games. The first will focus on the periof of King Richard of England. He would enjoy input. You can contact him at P.O. Box 470, Westmount, Quebec Canada H3Z 2Y6; 514-487-8463; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.idcreative.com.
By David Millians
Aquarius is a colorful variation on Dominoes and allows players to place cards in all playable directions rather than simply in a line. Other cards allow players to move or remove cards on the table or even to switch the cards in hand with those of another player. Each player also has a goal card depicting a design. He or she must arrange to have seven contiguous cards of this design on the table in order to win. Yet another card allows a player to switch even goals with another player!
My students really like this game! They played it for fun all summer, and they continue to do so now, especially as days grow wintery. One group combined it with Fluxx, also from Looney Labs and reviewed in the last issue of Games & Education, allowing any card from either game to be played in two simultaneous games! A couple of other teachers at my school are using Aquarius as a group game in math classes!
Aquarius is fun, challenging, and highly recommended.
Looney Labs, P.O. Box 761, College Park, Maryland 20740; 301-441-1019; email@example.com; www.wunderland.com.
Field Command plays on a board reminiscent of Stratego, but it adds several layers of complexity and even realism that make for a much richer game. All of the rules fit ona single sheet of double-size card stock, which also serves as a screen to divide the board during set-up. Players arrange artillery, infantry, cavalry, and guerrillas onto an eleven-by-eleven board which varies between forest and open country and which has three levels of altitude. The goal is to capture your opponent's general. The game has the feel of small and medium unit clashes during the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
My students enjoyed Field Command very much. The clear but elaborate options of the battlefield intrigued and challenged them. The toy soldiers were a hit. Weeks have been spent in planning, moving, resolving battles, and assessing new possibilities, and that was for individual games. No cause was truly lost, and there were always other kids waiting to play and dicussing outcomes, veterans ruminating on old battles!
Vista Marketing, P.O. Box 20630, Greensboro, North Carolina 27420; 800-849-8200.
Successors, from Avalon Hill, carries players through the cultural, political, and military turmoil following the death of Alexander the Great. Having conquered most of the known world of his time, Alexander died young, and his family and followers contested for power in his wake.
The beautiful, complex game board depicts much of the Middle East, ranging from Greece to Persia. Kingdoms, tribes, and even pesky Greek colonists can also enter play from beyond this area. Players assemble and move their units and trophies, which can include Alexander's body! Each player has Tyche cards which allow him or her to move, fight, or take special actions. They bring depth and detail to the game. While the basic turn sequence is straightforward, options and special rules can lead to more elaborate play.
My students were fascinated by Successors, though its many convolutions baffled even the adults at first. It does, however, depict its topic with accuracy and rich detail. Lead carefully, students as young as fifth or sixth grade could enjoy this game very much, and it could form the basis for a wonderful classroom simulation.
Avalon Hill has recently been acquired by Hasbro, so their status or ordering information is unknown. I recommend checking your local game store or distributor.
I've recently read White Wolf's Wild West Companion, a supplement for their game, Werewolf: The Wild West. In it they further detail the issues facing society in the nineteenth century. Though this is a fantasy game with hairy monsters and wild magic, its essays on culture are penetrating.
Having presented the true situation of a place or historical period, I have used more fantastical settings or games as a way to have students speculate on other ways or alternate histories. I once led a Werewolf game with my ten and eleven year olds. Set during the Sixties, they were confronted with difficult choices and issues of violence and community. It was rich indeed.
White Wolf Game Studio, 735 Park North Boulevard, Suite 128, Clarkston, Georgia 30021; www.white-wolf.com.
Games & Education is a quarterly publication sponsored by the Game Manufacturer's Association (GAMA) and is dedicated to furthering communication regarding the use of games of all types in educational settings. It is distributed free to anyone interested in any facet of this pursuit. Everyone is encouraged to participate in this communication by sharing their games, discoveries, insights, and critiques. We all benefit from each other's ideas.
Games & Education is distributed through the US Postal Service and is posted to a number of USENET newsgroups, including alt.games.dice, alt.games.live-action, rec.games.abstract, rec.games.board, rec.games.diplomacy, rec.games.frp.advocacy, rec.games.frp.misc, rec.games.mecha, rec.games.miniatures, rec.games.miniatures.historical, rec.games.miniatures.misc, and rec.games.playing-cards. Current and past issues of the newsletter are available on the worldwide web at www.rpg.net/edu with thanks to our web masters Sandy and Emma Antunes. GAMA's webpage can be found at www.gama.org.
Readers are encouraged to contribute materials to this publication. We assemble the newsletter during the months of March, June, September, and December. The size of the newsletter depends on what is submitted.
Permission is granted to copy anything in the newsletter, provided it does not have anyone else's copyright on it.
GAMA Officers and Division Chairs are listed below.
Executive Director: Murray E. Nuckols, Jr. (firstname.lastname@example.org) P.O. Box 1716, Pinson, AL 35126; (888) 851-5093 (pager)
President: Rick Loomis (Flying Buffalo, Inc.) P.O. Box 1467, Scottsdale, AZ 85252; (602) 945-6917; (602) 994-1170 (fax); email@example.com
Vice-President: Robert Anderson (Cactus Game Design, Inc.) firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary: Brad McWilliams, (Lion & Unicorn) email@example.com
Treasurer: Bruce Neidlinger (I.C.E.) P.O. Box 1605, Charlottesville, VA 22902; firstname.lastname@example.org
Wholesale Division Chair: Dick Stasuik (Dractus Distributing) email@example.com
Retail Division Chair: Dave Wallace (Fantasy Shop Inc.) firstname.lastname@example.org
Industry Watch (contact GAMA president Rick Loomis) P.O. Box 1467, Scottsdale, AZ 85252; (602) 945-6917; (602) 994-1170 (fax); email@example.com