<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d15677816\x26blogName\x3dGathering+of+Engineers\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://pdxgaming.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://pdxgaming.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-1257436599043759910', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Gathering of Engineers

Ludographic considerations from the Silicon Forest

Friday, November 04, 2005

Teaching Games

Brief post today – I’m sitting here manning the Sunriver Games booth at BGG.CON and things are slow (too early, folks were gaming pretty late last night).

So yesterday I spent more time learning and teaching games than playing games.  Funny thing is, I only taught Havoc once.  I taught Siena, Antike (twice), and Railroad Dice 2.  For Siena I did get to play most of the game, but had to leave before the final endgame banker bash.

I found myself wandering around the floor and seeing people picking up a game that I’ve played and obviously trying to learn from the rules.  Peter Drayton (also here) was trying to figure out the shipping rules for RR Dice and I explained things then offered to teach him and three others how to play the game.  I would have liked to play myself, but I really did enjoy just teaching the game.  Side note: I had no idea Peter was a gamer.  We met 3 or 4 years ago at one of Chris Sells’ XML DevCons, and he’s a very accomplished author.

It is so much easier to learn a game from a human being than from reading rules.  Maybe I’m slow, but I had to read through the rules for Antike and Indonesia at least 5 or 6 times before it started to make sense.  I think I need to rethink how I teach myself – most people that play wargames teach themselves by setting up the game and playing solitaire. For any medium to heavy-weight Euro game I think that’s also a good approach, as it greatly helps to see the pieces in action and build some context.  There’s always that ah-ha moment when all of the mechanics click together, and I have hard time reaching that moment from just a rules reading.

Make sure you check out my personal weblog and Flickr photostream if you want to track the goings-on at BGG.CON.

2 Comments:

  • At 7:22 PM, Anonymous Doug Garrett said…

    I completely agree, Chris, with both of your points. Learning from someone rather than just from the rules (with the caveat that sometimes a person can totally botch a teaching) helps things crystalize. Also, having the game spread out in front of you as you learn it certainly clarifies how things work as well.

    I actually like teaching games as much as playing sometimes, enjoying sitting back and watching others delve into something they've learned from me.

     
  • At 7:19 AM, Blogger Jasen said…

    Glad I got to partake in your only teaching of Havoc on Thursday. I'm planning on introducing it to my boardgame group on Friday and I expect it'll be very well received. In retrospect, I probably should have bought at least 4 or 5 copies so I could have resold them (or given them as gifts) to eager Calgarians.

    Pleasure meeting you at BGG.con Chris. Hopefully our paths will cross again - certainly let me know should you ever be in Calgary.

     

Post a Comment

<< Home