Playing games

Growing up I played the board games that you might expect a kid growing up in the 80s to play: Scrabble, Monopoly, Frustration, Cluedo and so on. Although I mostly enjoyed them, they were all tedious in their own ways. The more interesting the game, the longer it took, and the more “adult” it was seen to be and was therefore either out of reach of my younger sibling or took to long to play with my parents. Today is very different.

Sites like https://boardgamegeek.com/ mean that it’s possible to find games for my kids which don’t take too long to play and are also accessible for their ages, meaning they’re much more fun!

As well as some of the classics like “Guess Who” and “Connect 4” we’ve acquired Kingdomino, Castle Panic and Labyrinth, all of which are good fun.

On our horizon I can definitely see Catan Junior and Ticket to Ride: First Journey (Europe). Hopefully my kids will be able to look back on the board games they played with pleasure rather than mild horror, and will be able to play better, more interesting games as they grow up.

Keep Posting

Pete has some good advice for writing a blog that lasts: Keep Posting.

I should post more, but I’m frequently paralysed by choice. I’m a software dev manager, so I’m interested in down-in-the-mud-coding, software quality, personal and team productivity, agile techniques, web analytics, business value and return on investment.

That’s not to mention the fact that my two-year-old is finally sleeping at night and I’m starting to pick up videogaming again (did I mention I have a 3DS so that I can finally complete Ocarina of Time? The console is physically delightful and OoT:3DS is the best version Nintendo have made of possibly the best videogame ever).

Also: Kindles, tablets, portable computing, mobile apps vs. web. Someone at work described me as ‘decisive, but easily distracted’. I like to know about everything; frequently, this doesn’t leave time for writing about anything.

Nintendo DS strikes right note for teaching

My shiny new DS lite

My wife is a maths teacher, and I have a new DS lite. This means that she now has a DS fat, and we can play Brain Training competitions against one another from our single cartridge.

Inspired by a bit of ad-hoc wireless play (during which she soundly thrashed me several times), she took her new DS into school, and set the kids a competition to see who could get the most Brain Training sums correct in the shortest amount of time – using a webcam to project the game as they play onto the whiteboard. Obviously this generated a great amount of excitement and it was sums-a-gogo for the rest of the lesson.

At the end of the lesson she asked the kids to bring in their own DS the next day, if they had one – eight did and they played the competition against one another. Absolute genius. Talk about next-gen classroom interaction and introducing games as a teaching method!