Your gateway to board games

Although technology creates many exciting affordances for educational games, it isn’t always necessary (or even a good idea) to go high tech.  Board games are a useful way to start learning about games (and then to start learning about learning games), so here are some introductory resources you might find helpful.

Games 101 with Scott Nicolson

This is your gateway to Scott Nicolson’s excellent collection of board game reviews. These aren’t necessarily educational but expose you to the many different mechanics found in board games. Scott Nicolson is a professor at the University of Syracuse School of Information Studies so he has a deep interest in games for education as well.

Board games for learning

You also might take a look at SDSU’s EDTEC 670 wiki which posts board game projects  by Masters students in their Educational Technology Program. These aren’t commercial games but they can provide inspiration and some are quite sophisticated. (There are also many other great game resources on this site.)

A related site (also with contributions by SDSU EDTEC students) is Cardboard Cognition, which includes links to treatments of board games and card games.

Get your geek on

You’ll also want to check out which includes links to board game descriptions (a great resource for accessing game rules you might be inspired by) and forums (including a forum for games in the classroom).

As an update: Thanks to Kevin Eagles on Google Plus, I learned of the Board Game Designers Forum (BGDF), which includes design forums, as well as resources and links to game journals and blogs by board game designers.

Board games and the 21st century learner

In this article by Brian Mayer, you’ll learn how board games connect to the American Association of School Librarians (AALS)  Standards for the 21st Century Learner.  Board games provide opportunities for

  • reading
  • decoding
  • analyzing
  • assessing
  • taking action on information
in a setting that encourages risk-taking, open-minded exploration, and social learning. (Not surprisingly, libraries can be great resources for information about board games.)

Games in general

If you’d like to take a step back and learn about game basics, check out these interactive videos at the Kongregate site.

Do you have other go-to resources for learning about board games?

One response to “Your gateway to board games

  1. Games offer huge opportunities for learning. Why do they work? When you are playing a game, you are focused on something else than the (sometimes boring) task of learning facts or practicing skills. Instead, your mind is on outwitting your opponent or racing against the clock, but at the same time, your brain is assimilating the information you need to learn. Because the facts or skills are necessary for you to be successful in the game. Besides, games are fun and you relax. Always good. We’ve tried out this idea for language learning for adults in games for language. I think adults have just as much fun with games as kids. You offer a great resource here. Gaming, whatever its form is here to stay, we might as well use it productively.

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