Monday, February 27, 2017
Why We Need More Games With Words & Books
There are a number of games that revolve around words. Scrabble is the gold standard. The online version, words with friends, is popular. Bananagrams, crosswords, word searches, and Word Candy online are big, too. Add in Scattergories, MAD Libs, Boggle, Hangman, Balderdash and word jumbles and you see a good trend here. Many games involve the use and focus of words.
Of course many games involve chance and live by the luck of a card drawn or dice rolled. Others incorporate strategy – Monopoly, chess, checkers, Pictionary, or Connect Four. Many games are online or they are video games. We can entertain ourselves in any number of ways but nothing compares to engaging in a war of words and using quick-thinking, creativity, and strategy to turn random letters into a winning word score.
Making words, spelling, or some reference to letters into a game is an important trend. We need to focus on language and stimulate our brains appropriately. Sure we may like games that involve competition or call upon skills that involve math, a poker face, smart trading, or manipulating one’s environment, but games that lean on language are big winners. They engage us, challenge us, and awaken our creativity.
Language is really the key building block for civilization. The more of us that can master it, the more we can have a world driven by intellect, not bombs; by ideas, not status quo; and by communication and not mere physical interactions.
Other games I would love to see include these:
· Booktionary – try to draw relevant scenes or characters relating to famous books.
· Book Trivial Pursuit – trivia pertaining to books and authors of social note.
· Bookopoloy – a board game about running a successful book publishing company where the publisher buys up manuscripts in a smart way.
· Who Am I? Learn about authors and then guess who they are, based on the clues shared
· Be The Editor – earn points for catching errors in a portion of a manuscript.
· Write That Title – players get a handful of words and instructions about a book’s genre and plot and you need to come up with as many relevant book titles within 60 seconds as possible.
· Book Trading Cards – collect, trade, and share cards like you would for sports or movies, but these cards revolve around books, words, famous lines, and major authors
· Are You A Poet? - you are given a handful of words and have a limited amount of time to craft certain types of poems, from rhyming to free verse.
Language will never go out of style – and it will always be vital to society’s growth. The more games that we can create for our youth and others that encourage reading, improving our vocabulary and thinking creatively, the better.
Will Hasbro be looking to launch a new game that promotes words, books, or publishing? I hope so. Hey Hasbro, glad to serve as a consultant!
“It is with the reading of books the same as with looking at pictures; one must, without doubt, without hesitations, with assurance, admire what is beautiful.”
--Vincent van Gogh
“The one best sufficient reason for a man to buy a book is because he thinks he will be happier with it than without it.”
--A. Edward Newton, The Amenities of Book-Collecting and Kindred Affections (1918)
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