Tag Archives: games

12 Days of Christmas Thankfulness: Day 6

30 Dec

Christmas Thankful Shanon LyonMy birthday (the big 4-0!) has added an extra patina of sentimentality and reflection to this holiday.

In honor of this milestone—punctuated by finally unlocking the “author” achievement—I’ve assembled my own 12 days of Christmas* Thankfulness.

Day 1: Cathy Taylor
Day 2: Sue LaGow
Day 3: Ryan Hylland
Day 4: Jackie Phillips

Day 5: Szaba and Von
Day 6: Shanon Lyon
Day 7: Kerry Colburn
Day 8: Debbie Reber
Day 9: Peter Orullian

Day 10: Christa Charter
Day 11: Steam Crow
Day 12: 1986 State Fair Judging Panel

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Criticism Is Awesome

9 Dec

NOYep, you heard me right. Criticism is awesome. It may go against our very nature and need for acceptance, but “attaboys” don’t really get us anywhere. If anything, they give us a false sense of security and a tendency to relax and let things happen as they will.

Great things don’t happen as they will.

Have you read this article by game designer Raph Koster? I instantly recognized several themes, not just from my game playtesting days at Cranium, but also as a writer, entrepreneur, and mom.

Though you really should read the whole thing, I know you’re busy, so here are the crib notes:

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Story

6 May

Once upon a time, there was a hero.

Source: Shanta Rohse "Der Frieder und das Katherlieschen"

Source: Shanta Rohse “Der Frieder und das Katherlieschen”

(S)he lived in a world where things weren’t perfect, but they were livable. Then something happened to change all that. At first (s)he denied it. Then someone convinced the hero otherwise. (S)he set off to do something. Things challenged the hero along the way. Eventually, (s)he got to the destination and faced the big ordeal, which was of utmost psychological significance to the hero. (S)he got something in return and went on with life, but it was never the same.

Sound familiar?

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The 4 Pillars of Play

29 Apr

CreativeBrainWhen I worked at Cranium, I learned a lot about Dr. Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory.

It stressed that there are multiple ways to be “smart,” beyond standardized tests for verbal-linguistic and logical-mathematic skills. Gardner demonstrated that humans actually have eight intelligences:

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Top 3: Board Games for People Who Don’t Play Board Games

28 Mar

Would you rather watch a movie than play a game together? That might be the fault of the games you’ve played.

Think outside of the Candy Land and Monopoly box. Here are my top 3 board games for people who don’t play board games (which hopefully will change after you give these a try).

Game_SettlersofCatan1. Settlers of Catan
Age: 10+ (also 4+ and 6+ versions)
Players: 3-4 (5-6 with expansion packs)
Time: 45-90 min.

It’s the gateway drug of good board games. It’s well balanced, fast, fun, easy to “get,” and has just enough luck to help even the playing field. There’s also an app that can walk you through how to play it, so you don’t even have to read the game rules!

Ready to kick it up a notch?
Try Puerto Rico or 7 Wonders.

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The Game Father

24 Sep

God Father and ToddlerWhen my 10-year-old nephew found out we were expecting Szaba, he was so excited. He wanted to be the godfather.

There was only one problem: We’re not religious. Wait! Don’t click away. I’m not trying to convert (or un-convert) anyone. I simply regard spirituality as a very personal undertaking. You do it your way, I do it mine, and we’re all happy. Good? Good. As I was saying …

I was raised in a Catholic household and thus understood the importance of such a request, especially in the eyes of a child. The godparent-godchild relationship is a special bond recognized by the whole family. Essentially, it’s a mentoring relationship, someone you can always count on beyond your immediate family.

It was something I wanted to support, for my nephew and my daughter, especially given my nephew’s proactive interest in Szaba’s life and his recent losses of both his doting Grandma Sue and sweet Great Grandma Shirley.

Ryan and I talked about it and conceptualized a solution: The Game Father.

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Why I Want My Daughter to Be a Gamer

17 Sep
Dr. Suess

Just another day of work at Cranium.

For many of you, your knee-jerk reaction will be to disagree with that statement. To you, I say, “Let’s look at some facts first, shall we?” I’ll even go so far as to propose that you may change your tune after reading this (if you don’t support games already).

Let me back up a bit …

Professionally, I used to work at Cranium, and I still freelance as a games writer. Personally, I just love games. Both kinds: video and board. So does my husband. He’s a 12-year vet of the video game industry with an affinity for board games akin to Cookie Monster and cookies.

All of those reasons recently led me to PAX Prime, a big Seattle convention for people who make and enjoy games.

I was surprised to hear three themes keep coming up at PAX, and I’m happy to report they all bode well for families who game.

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