GAME PUBLISHERS WHO HAVE EDUCATION IN MIND
Lance Hill, founder of Funhill games, designed Kings of Israel to teach his church youth group the geography of ancient Israel. “I had been dabbling with game design,” he says, “and it popped into my head that a game could probably teach the locations pretty well.”
“The game board is a map of the Northern Kingdom of Israel,” he explains, “and in each round, my youth group kids got a little bit better at becoming familiar with finding the locations on the board. At the same time, I had a special Bible study that I used in between rounds that explained why each location was important in the game. That helped the teens to attach events and people to the locations on the board.”
In the same way that playing any map of Ticket to Ride can teach players the city names and locations, by playing Kings of Israel a person can’t help but learn the names of several important cities in ancient Israel.
For Coveyou, educational value has always been the main consideration, as well. Before he founded Genius Games, he was a middle and high school science teacher who used board games, which he designed himself, as learning activities in his classroom. “We think of a school as a place where students must stop playing so that they can start learning. But why do these pursuits have to be mutually exclusive?” he asks in a 2015 article for Middleweb.com.
Since day one, Coveyou’s vision for Genius Games has been to make games that are both genuinely fun to play, and accurate in the science concepts they present. Based on comments on Board Game Geek (BGG), Coveyou has succeeded. Mike Bialecki, a biology professor for 10 years who has a Ph.D. in developmental genetics, comments about Cytosis (a game Coveyou designed around the theme of cellular biology): “The marriage between theme and mechanics is very strong — so much so that I can see myself using the game to teach students about the endomembrane system.” Another person cheered this post, commenting, “This is one of the most extraordinary statements I’ve seen on this site. [Cytosis is] a highly-rated science-based game that is accurate enough to be used in a college course.”
All of Genius Games’ board games come with a “Science Behind” document, written by Ph.D. scientists, doctors, and educators, which explains the science used in the game. This document can be used by itself as a supplement to classroom instruction or in combination with the students playing the game.
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Gaming By Degrees: The Philosophical Journey of Dr. Finn's Games
Early in his career as a self-publishing game designer, Dr. Stephen Finn earned a reputation as a designer of filler games. In fact, Richard Ham, host of the well-known board gaming video series and podcast “Rahdo Runs Through,” has called Finn the “undisputed King of the Filler.” It was a title that Finn embraced. “There was a time,” notes Finn, “when ‘filler’ wasn’t a pejorative term, but I think it’s now becoming one. I was always proud to call myself the King of the Fillers, because I was thinking of ‘filler’ as just a quick thing.” “However, over time, I began to realize that it may be to my detriment and now, I try to avoid it.” Not completely. Finn continues to promote the phrase on his company’s website because “being King of anything is still a good thing.” “I was thinking maybe it would become something bigger.”
PUBLISHING AMID A PANDEMIC: How Board Games Survived and Thrived in 2020
COVID’s lasting impacts on our health and economy are still far from being understood. It will take many of us years, perhaps even a decade, to unravel what has changed in the last year. But some patterns are emerging, at least in the board gaming hobby, that indicate many publishers were well ahead of the curve even before the threat of a pandemic affected their supply chains worldwide. As the world began locking itself down to quell the threat of COVID-19, people continued to find solace in hobbies. Soon, the business journals and magazines of the world began tracking the increase of sales across a wide swath of interests as people did anything and everything to take their minds away from the weight of a pandemic circling the globe. Turns out, everything from toys, guitars, crafts, and board games were selling well despite a deflated economy. Report Linker’s “Board Games Market - Global Outlook and Forecast 2021-2026” estimates that sales in the hobby will grow by 13 percent in the next five years, even with continued lockdowns. But what about the hobby as a whole? This article examines how 2020 affected the board gaming industry through three facets — big box stores, local board gaming cafes and stores, and the digital space — and how the pandemic has shaped them in the interim as well as moving forward. Is this projected forecast of its growth still as rosy?
Attending a mysterious funfair, you start to have psychic visions. Can you catch a killer before the evening is through?
1-4 PLAYERS | 15-45 MINUTES | AGES 7+
Live the sugary dream in Candy Lab, as you fulfill orders of candy bars and compete for the title of master confectioner!
MIND GAMES: The Psychology of Board Games
What is the mind? For the ancient Greeks, the idea of the mind was synonymous with the concept of “soul.” Plato believed the psyche was immortal and became wiser and more perceptive after death. More recently, Freud and Jung refined the idea of seele (soul) as a subset of the overall psyche, that which governs thought and behavior — in short, personality. As a game designer and armchair psychologist, I am fascinated by what makes games tick. But even more, I love to discover what makes players tick. Games are products of the human mind, and the mind is the arena on which the contest is played. All the aspects of cognition — perception, thinking, judgment, language, memory, and more — play into the game experience.
Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar
2-4 PLAYERS | 45-60 MINUTES | AGES 7+
GAME REVIEWS: CALICO
Winner of CGI’s Best Casual Game of 2020 award, Calico is filled with adorable cats and versatility in its tile laying, giving it a combination of challenging gameplay and soothing delightful theme.
2-10 PLAYERS | 60 MINUTES | AGES 8+
BOARD GAMES IN THE CLASSROOM
Gamers gather around a table to unbox a new board game or bring out an old favorite. Together, they enter into a unique experience of mental challenge, social interaction, and creative play — an experience that draws them together. But can this special experience have anything to do with learning? John Coveyou, founder of Genius Games, insists that it does. Whenever you take a seat around a table to play a board game, “your mind can’t not begin to pick up information about the world that the game is themed around.” Without a doubt, learning is part of the experience, but is it a big enough part to justify using board games in the classroom? If so, how can board games be best used for learning?
Pfizer deserves every bit of the credit it’s receiving. But should a drug company decide who gets a shot?
Welcome 2021 GROUP EXHIBITION JANUARY 1 - FEBRUARY 28,2021
Israeli Art Market celebrates the 2021 New Year with a major group exhibition!
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Hoping battles knowing in this three-act seduction (spoiler alert: there’s a cat in the story).
AVNER SHER: EMBRACING VANDALISM
Avner Sher (born 1951, Israel), one of Israel's most successful commercial architects, has earned his B. Arch, Architecture and Town Planning from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology and graduated his Art studies at Haifa University.
Israel Drops Cannabis From The Sky Via Drones
In the Bible's Book of Exodus, the tribe of Israel, having left Egypt were lost and hungry. As their tummies rumbled in their time of need, help from above came in the form of “manna from heaven”, a white flakey substance, said to taste like honey.
POETIC LANDSCAPES:DITA JACOBOVITZ
Most of my landscape paintings are from my Residential area and from north Italy. I use various techniques, but mostly Oil on canvas. I decided several years ago that I will not try to reach the reality; I am trying to put the colors and shapes as I view them; sometimes, the place is the exactly the same spot, but the artworks are so different." - Dita Jacobovitz
A New Way to See BRAILLE
Remarkable discoveries are turning brain science on its head.
OSHER PARTOVI BLACK & LIGHT
I'm 41 years old, from Israel, a photographer and teaches master class photography. I discovered my interest in photography 17 years ago while traveling to the far east with my old film pocket camera.
Suly Bornstein Wolff
BETWEEN TRADITION AND THE FUTURE
'My name is Osnat Oliva and I'm a Creative Person'
Growing up, I realized that creativity is the central quality of my personality and expressed in my unique way of thinking and in my unique way of looking at the world.