Creative kids: They’ve got game

By Denise Dick


You’ve likely heard, “Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.” and “You sank my battleship.” But what about “Search and Destroy” and “Truth or Lie”?

Sixth-graders in Sandy Bates’ visual arts classes at Center Middle School created their own board games and spent an afternoon last month trying out each other’s handiwork.

“Their job was to design the game and all of the pieces that went with it,” Bates said.

The students worked in teams of four with each team member assigned a task.

“One was the team manager, one was the designer, one was in charge of the rules and one was the editor,” Bates said.

They wrote the game’s directions, with help from the school’s language arts teachers. It was a collaborative effort, the teacher said.

“I think what they learned is that art is not just something in museums,” Bates said. “It’s something we see every day around us, like in a board game.”

Sixth-graders Holly Yarab, 11, Jessica Rauschenberg, 12, and Debora Shannon, 13, tried out Truth or Lie on a recent afternoon.

Each player rolls a die to determine the number of spaces on the board to move their piece. Each space directs a player to draw either a truth or lie card.

You win by landing on the most truth spaces before all of the cards are gone.

Debora rolled the die and drew a truth card to answer, “What’s your favorite color?”

“Purple,” she said.

Holly and Jessica worked together with two other students to create the Goldfish game.

The game pieces are little goldfish with a pond at the center of the game board. The object is to get your fish to the pond before your opponents, Holly explained.

The team encountered a few minor problems during the creation and execution of Goldfish.

“We messed up the arrows on the board,” Jessica said. “We had them pointed the wrong way. We had to do them over, basically.”

But other than those few hiccups, the girls say they enjoyed the experience.

Dominic Mariano and Alexa Demetrios, both 11, and Madison Chizmar and Brianna Brammer, both 12, gathered around a table in the school cafeteria to play Bus Stop.

Each player selects a clay bus playing piece with a different color on the front. They roll the die to move the bus around the board.

“The first bus to get to the school wins,” Dominic said.

But if you land on a tire space, you have to move back three spaces.

That was a recurring problem for Alexa. She kept landing on tire spaces and getting sent back.

Dominic was part of the team that created Truth or Lie. “I did the design,” he said.

Across the cafeteria, Bob Morrell, Ruhun Vangal and Caleb Hanna, all 12, faced off in a game of Search and Destroy.

“It’s fun,” Bob said.

Ruhun agreed.

The object is to diffuse your opponents bombs, which are marked on the game board. But aren’t permitted to diffuse their own devices, Ruhun explained.

“I think it’s a good game,” said Caleb who was leading his opponents.

It’s similar to video games they’ve played, Bob said.

“It’s like a combination of ‘Call of Duty’ and ‘Modern Warfare,’” Caleb said, “They’re both war games.”

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