PlayEd Podcast
PlayEd Podcast
PlayEd (Laura and Chris)
Podcasting from the Intersection of Games and Education.
Episode 27: Who Moved My Keys?: Overcoming Obstacles in “Labyrinth”
As Robert Burns reminds us, "the best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men gang aft agley." This week, Chris and Laura discuss how Ravensburger's "Labyrinth" provides low cost opportunities to learn this bit of wisdom as shifting walls in a labyrinth upset players' plans to recover treasure. Whether talking about developing emotional regulation, adapting to changing circumstances, or showing how to make simple rule amendments that will keep gaming in the fun zone, they show you how to go over, under, around or through the obstacles that come your way.    Games Mentioned:   Labyrinth - Published by Ravensburger, this treasure hunt game with shifting tiles challenges players to adapt their plans as the way to their goals shifts.  Enchanted Forest - Another excellent Ravensburger game, players' memories are challenged to find fairy tell objects hidden beneath the trees of an enchanted forest. (As mentioned, there is also the Wood Labyrinth and Jim Henson's Labyrinth: The Board Game, as well as Magic Labyrinth, but none are the subject of this week’s episode)   Did you know we have a YouTube Page? Find it here.   Can't see the links? Podcatcher turning my painstaking labor into plaintext? Come visit the podcast page at  https://played.podbean.com/ and get the full experience, complete with all the links in perfect functioning order.    Intro and Outro Music: "Crunk Knight" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Licensehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Other Music: Music from https://filmmusic.io "One-eyed Maestro" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Apr 28, 2020
35 min
Episode 26: Please Pass the Soy Sauce: Playing the Hand You’re Dealt with “Sushi Go!”
Tempura or Maki? Will you grab the Nigiri and hope you can get some Wasabi? Are the chopsticks too hard to use correctly? All good questions when playing Gamewright's pick-and-pass card game, "Sushi Go!". This week Chris and Laura discuss how uncertainty helps develop a sense of probability and strategic thinking, what extra challenges arise in it's expanded version "Sushi Go Party!", and how utterly adorable the various sushi bar treats are.    Games Mentioned:   Sushi Go! and Sushi Go Party! – Fast paced and easy to learn, it's exactly what Gamewright says it is, a pick and pass card game that helps develop strategy and probability skills. Settlers of Catan – A classic game of building and trading.  Civilization - Avalon Hill's game balancing regional conquest with technological development and trade.   Did you know we have a YouTube Page? Find it here.   Can't see the links? Podcatcher turning my painstaking labor into plaintext? Come visit the podcast page at  https://played.podbean.com/ and get the full experience, complete with all the links in perfect functioning order.    Intro and Outro Music: "Crunk Knight" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Licensehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Other Music: Music from https://filmmusic.io "One-eyed Maestro" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Apr 21, 2020
37 min
Episode 25: MacGyver Meets The Blob: Silliness and Resourcefulness in “The Awful Green Things From Outer Space”
Some games can easily be placed into the "educational" box. But can a fun, silly game inspired by 1950s B movies have anything to teach? Of course! This week, Laura and Chris discuss "The Awful Green Things From Outer Space." From reconnecting with your own inner child's love of silliness to developing resourcefulness and a willingness to experiment, they show how even the most lighthearted of games offer opportunities for learning.    Games Mentioned:   The Awful Green Things From Outer Space – From it's first appearance in Dragon Magazine, this two-player game pits green, blob-like aliens against a resourceful but dwindling spaceship crew that must use all materials on hand in an attempt to escape.    Books and Movies Mentioned:    The Blob Star Trek: "The Trouble With Tribbles" The Day the Earth Stood Still Apollo 13   Can't see the links? Podcatcher turning my painstaking labor into plaintext? Come visit the podcast page at  https://played.podbean.com/ and get the full experience, complete with all the links in perfect functioning order.    Intro and Outro Music: "Crunk Knight" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Licensehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Other Music: Music from https://filmmusic.io "Hall of the Mountain King" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Music from https://filmmusic.io "One-eyed Maestro" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Apr 14, 2020
44 min
Episode 24: Raiding and Trading: Finding the Balance in “Fire and Axe: A Viking Saga”
This week, the PlayEd Podcast triumphantly returns! We discuss “Fire and Axe: A Viking Saga” by IDW Games, a raiding and trading game where players traverse Europe as Northmen, winning victory points through sacking cities or sitting on sacks (of trade goods). Finding the right balance is part of the fun, but all is subject to chance and the way the wind is blowing.   Games Mentioned:   Fire and Axe: A Viking Saga - By IDW games. A fun 30 to 90 minute game for players 12+ Beowulf - Someday we'll actually play this. Currently out of print but can be found on the secondary market at reasonable prices.   Books Mentioned:    Beowulf - This link goes to the Seamus Heaney translation of the epic poem. It's one of our favorites.      Can't see the links? Podcatcher turning my painstaking labor into plaintext? Come visit the podcast page at  https://played.podbean.com/ and get the full experience, complete with all the links in perfect functioning order.    Intro and Outro Music: "Crunk Knight" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Licensehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/   Other Music: Music from https://filmmusic.io "One-eyed Maestro" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Apr 7, 2020
30 min
Episode 23: Going Fast and Turning Left: Intuitive Statistics in "Circus Maximus"
Going fast and turning left: racing hasn't changed much in the last 2000 years. But that doesn't mean racing is boring. In this episode, Chris and Laura explore the chaotic fun inherent in the chariot racing game, "Circus Maximus" from Avalon Hill. They discuss ancient Roman life, how games build an intuitive grasp of statistics  and probability, and have some book and movie recommendations as well.    Games Mentioned:   Circus Maximus & Gladiator - Both currently out of print, these companion games from Avalon Hill simulate the excitement and chaos of Roman sporting events.  Diplomacy - A game of negotiation and backstabbing as players act the parts of countries prior to World War I. Sleeping Queens - A strategy card game where players need a little luck and some fast thinking to wake the queens placed under a sleeping spell. Sushi Go - A pick and pass card game where players accumulate points as they collect sushi dinners. Outfoxed - A fun, cooperative game that can be played with nearly everyone. Here's a good playthrough video, though there is a small difference in how the Thief Card is presented. It looks like the earlier game used red and green dots, rather than green dots or blank spaces. This is probably an alteration to make the game less confusing for those with red-green color blindness. If you buy a used copy, that may be an issue.  Dragonwood - A card and dice based adventure game, Dragonwood is a fun introduction into the elements of roleplaying and card combat games.   Books and Movies Mentioned:    Ben Hur - The classic epic with its iconic chariot race; also our favorite movie to watch at Easter. The Roman Mysteries - Flavia Gemina is a young sleuth with devoted friends and penchant for getting into trouble in ancient Rome. "The Charioteer of Delphi" is a great companion novel to read when playing Circus Maximus.     Can't see the links? Podcatcher turning my painstaking labor into plaintext? Come visit the podcast page at  https://played.podbean.com/ and get the full experience, complete with all the links in perfect functioning order.    Intro and Outro Music: "Crunk Knight" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Licensehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Other Music: Music from https://filmmusic.io"Super Circus" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Music from https://filmmusic.io"One-eyed Maestro" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Nov 12, 2019
42 min
Episode 22: The Game's Afoot: A Master Class in Reasoning with "221B Baker Street"
What game do you play when you've exhausted the possibilities of mystery games like "Clue"? The answer, dear listeners, is elementary. This week, Chris and Laura wrap up their Month of Mystery with "221 B Baker Street", a Sherlock Holmes inspired investigation game which expands on the deductive reasoning genre of games. What adaptations did we do to make it accessible to our younger children? What kind of advanced skills in deduction and inference can be gained? Why is the replayability so high? Join us in the fog of Victorian London and find out!   Games Mentioned:   221B Baker Street - Today's featured game. Link goes to the Deluxe Edition, which offers the most replayability.  Mastermind - A codecracking game that exercises skills of logic and deduction. Mystery of the Abbey - This whodunnit game set in a medieval monastery blends elements of Clue with card driven events that limit play time and increase strategic challenge. The game page at the Days of Wonder site includes PDFs of the Suspect Sheets and Rules Pages.   Outfoxed - A fun, cooperative game that can be played with nearly everyone. Here's a good playthrough video, though there is a small difference in how the Thief Card is presented. It looks like the earlier game used red and green dots, rather than green dots or blank spaces. This is probably an alteration to make the game less confusing for those with red-green color blindness. If you buy a used copy, that may be an issue.   Clue - This is the current version of the game. Mostly similar to the original, but a magnifying glass option allows players to gain hints.    Books and Movies Mentioned:    Sherlock Holmes - There are many, many Sherlock Holmes stories. Follow the link for a complete collection. I also recommend checking to see if your local library has the Annotated Sherlock Holmes. It's a treasure trove of Easter Eggs and delightful bits of minutia.  Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Granada Television Series - Others may have their favorites, but Jeremy Brett's turn as the Great Detective is still my favorite, and the series is well produced.    Can't see the links? Podcatcher turning my painstaking labor into plaintext? Come visit the podcast page at  https://played.podbean.com/ and get the full experience, complete with all the links in perfect functioning order.    Intro and Outro Music: "Crunk Knight" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Licensehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Other Music: Music from https://filmmusic.io"One-eyed Maestro" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Oct 29, 2019
36 min
Episode 21: Ask the Right Questions: Solving the "Mystery of the Abbey"
Brother Adelmo has been found lifeless at the foot of the cliffs of the Templars' Abbey. Did he slip, or was he pushed? And if so, by whom? It's your job, as monks brought in from outside, to investigate the crime while continuing to participate in the regular life of the Abbey.    This week, Laura and Chris continue their Month of Mystery with "Mystery of the Abbey", a medieval whodunnit published by Days of Wonder. Combining the investigation and questioning elements of Clue, while adding in card play that increase the variety of ways in which suspects may be known and players thwarted, this game offers replayability with an engaging medieval set-dressing. But as Chris and Laura discover, the key to discovery lies in how to ask the right questions. Join them as they get distracted by the minutia of monastic life and offer hints on how to increase the fun.    Games Mentioned: Mystery of the Abbey - This whodunnit game set in a medieval monastery blends elements of Clue with card driven events that limit play time and increase strategic challenge. The game page at the Days of Wonder site includes PDFs of the Suspect Sheets and Rules Pages.   Outfoxed - A fun, cooperative game that can be played with nearly everyone. Here's a good playthrough video, though there is a small difference in how the Thief Card is presented. It looks like the earlier game used red and green dots, rather than green dots or blank spaces. This is probably an alteration to make the game less confusing for those with red-green color blindness. If you buy a used copy, that may be an issue.    Clue - This is the current version of the game. Mostly similar to the original, but a magnifying glass option allows players to gain hints.    Books and Movies Mentioned:    The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael - Ellis Peters' series of mysteries set in a monastery in Shrewsbury, England is one of our favorites.  Cadfael - The televisation of the novels starring Derek Jacobi, these aired on PBS's Mystery! years ago but remain evergreen.  The Door in the Wall - This Newberry Award winning book by Marguerite de Angeli is as engaging today as was when first published in 1949. An excellent tale about 14th century Medieval life with a captivating adventure.  The Name of the Rose - Written by Italian author and literary critic Umberto Eco, this 1980 mystery novel, set in a 14th century Italian monastery is the aesthetic inspiration for the game, and a fascinatingly intellectual mystery in its own right.    Can't see the links? Podcatcher turning my painstaking labor into plaintext? Come visit the podcast page at  https://played.podbean.com/ and get the full experience, complete with all the links in perfect functioning order.    Intro and Outro Music: "Crunk Knight" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Licensehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Other Music: Music from https://filmmusic.io"Hall of the Mountain King" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Music from https://filmmusic.io"One-eyed Maestro" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Oct 24, 2019
0 sec
Episode 20: Pilfered Pies & Plucky Poultry: Cooperative Deduction in "Outfoxed"
A sneaky fox has taken Mrs. Plumpert's prize pot pie. Four chickens must join forces and uncover the clues to identify which fox or vixen made away with the pleasing pastry become the fox returns to its hole.    This week, Laura and Chris continue their Month of Mystery with "Outfoxed", a cooperative whoodnnit game from  Gamewright. They discuss the distinctions between spectacles and pince nez, the value of figuring out clues as a team, and why this game really is fun for the whole family. Special guest, Alexander, aged 5, joins us to explain the rules.    Games Mentioned:   Outfoxed - A fun, cooperative game that can be played with nearly everyone. Here's a good playthrough video, though there is a small difference in how the Thief Card is presented. It looks like the earlier game used red and green dots, rather than green dots or blank spaces. This is probably an alteration to make the game less confusing for those with red-green color blindness. If you buy a used copy, that may be an issue.  King of Tokyo - Monsters, robots, and aliens fight to be the King of Tokyo.  Monster Trap - This cute cooperative game has a similar premise, stop the monster before it can get to the farm to steal a sheep, but in this game the players must construct traps to slow the monster on its way to the farm.    Clue - This is the current version of the game. Mostly similar to the original, but a magnifying glass option allows players to gain hints.    Can't see the links? Podcatcher turning my painstaking labor into plaintext? Come visit the podcast page at  https://played.podbean.com/ and get the full experience, complete with all the links in perfect functioning order.    Intro and Outro Music: "Crunk Knight" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Licensehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Other Music: Music from https://filmmusic.io"One-eyed Maestro" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Oct 15, 2019
37 min
Episode 19: We Have a Clue! Deductive Reasoning in the Classic Boardgame
October is here. Time for falling leaves, pumpkin spice everything, and curling up with a good mystery book. Or better yet, pulling out a mystery game and spending time with family as the days (eventually) become crisp. And what better game to start off this Month of Mystery than the classic board game "Clue"? Chris and Laura discuss the game's history, how deductive reasoning lies at the heart of the game, and provide some suggestions for speeding up the game when it's dragging without damaging the mechanics.    Games Mentioned:   Clue (Retro 1986 Edition) - If you grew up in the 80s or 90s, this is probably the version you played.  Clue Master Dectective - More suspects, more weapons, more rooms. This expanded version of the game increases complexity, but also allows for more players as well. Great for large families or bigger groups. Clue - This is the current version of the game. Mostly similar to the original, but a magnifying glass option allows players to gain hints.  Clue (2013 Edition with Additional Boardwalk Setting) - This curious version of the game trades out billiard rooms and conservatories for much more pedestrian rooms and a disconcerting arrangement of rectangular tiles off-set on a diagonal. It may be a more modern way to lay flooring, but it make for a dizzying game board. To keep up variety, the board has a second side with an alternate location, a boardwalk, and an extra set of location cards to trade in if you use that setting.  Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea VASSAL module - As mentioned a few weeks back, the Vassal module for ACIS is now live.  Magic: The Gathering - link to the new Throne of Eldraine expansion mentioned at the top of the show. Look through the pretty new cards for some fantastic nods to classic fairy tales.      Additional Material:   Clue: The Movie - Tim Curry at his finest. Rated PG. As mentioned in the show, there are oblique references to a number of adult themes, but most are of the sort that will not be caught by children.      Can't see the links? Podcatcher turning my painstaking labor into plaintext? Come visit the podcast page at  https://played.podbean.com/ and get the full experience, complete with all the links in perfect functioning order.    Intro and Outro Music: "Crunk Knight" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Licensehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Other Music: Music from https://filmmusic.io"Hall of the Mountain King" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Music from https://filmmusic.io"One-eyed Maestro" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Oct 1, 2019
36 min
Episode 18: Repetition is the Mother of Memory: Learning Ancient History Facts with "Outmatched"
This week, Laura and Chris dive into "Outmatched", a fast paced card game designed to help memorize history facts. After a brief overview of the game, we interview Nathan King with the Institute for Excellence in Writing and talk with him about the history and development of the game, it's designer, Dr. James Webster, and what it takes to make memory work not feel like work.    Games Mentioned:   Outmatched Ancient History Outmatched Medieval History Be sure to check out the Outmatched Landing Page which includes a video walk through of the game and other helps for playing the game.  Educational Merit and Frantic Fun - an article on Outmatched including an interview with Dr. Webster   Additional Material:   As a special bonus for our listeners, IEW has provided links to the two talks mentioned in the podcast: Nurturing Competent Communicators and Teaching Boys and Other Children Who Would Rather be Making Forts All Day. What is Classical Conversations? Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization - one of the first courses we got from IEW, and still one of the best.  Ancient History Based Writing Lessons - Another course from IEW. This one builds on their foundational Structure and Style Method and allows students to reinforce facets of history while practicing composition techniques.   History of Ancient Egypt - Wait until it's on sale (The Great Courses rotates which courses they sell at a discount.) This video lecture series on Ancient Egypt was fascinating.     Can't see the links? Podcatcher turning my painstaking labor into plaintext? Come visit the podcast page at  https://played.podbean.com/ and get the full experience, complete with all the links in perfect functioning order.    Intro and Outro Music: "Crunk Knight" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Licensehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Sep 24, 2019
49 min
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