Interactive Games Overday

On Saturday we had what I would consider one of our better Overdays.  Twenty kids, two adults and a ton of games, 8 AM to 8 PM, in our school Cafeteria.

A breakdown:

CCGs were very popular throughout the entire time.  The action was dominated by Magic, but a small Yu-Gi Oh! tournament was also held.  Magic players held an Elder Dragon Highlander tournament and an Intro Deck tournament.  I always prefer pre-constructed decks for at least one tournament because the skill level at our club varies from beginner to professional.  Intro decks help level the playing field.  I didn’t participate in any of the tournaments as I was busy with a variety of things, but I did get a half dozen games of Magic in over the course of the early afternoon.  I had a blast.  I used a Blue/Green pre-con from a prior years tournament.  It took me a few games to really understand how it worked.  It was an Evolve-based deck (appropriate for a biology teacher) in which creatures get +1/+1 tokens whenever another creature of greater power or toughness enters the field.  The first few games I kept drawing just one land in the starting hand to the point that I was almost convinced I had grabbed a partial deck.  So, I checked the land ratio and it was fine and it turned out that the lands were all just concentrated in one part that I was never drawing from.  So, I did a total “table smear” shuffle and it got better.  I think I only won two games of six, but I don’t think I made poor decisions.  It surprised me how much I remembered and I had to ask a lot of questions about the timing of when things trigger.  Magic is often much about timing of steps.

Picture Disclaimer:  No, my students don’t have blue faces.  This is a personal blog so I’m not showing any faces without parental permission.  If you don’t like it, get your teaching certificate, learn about FERPA, and then we’ll talk.

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Here I am trying not to mess up:

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Naturally we had video games galore.  I partially got into Nintendo handhelds because I wanted a portable variant and partly because I knew they were popular amongst students.  We had a small Pokemon X/Y tournament, I played Mario Golf: World Tour on and off during breaks and the rest was a lot of WiiU, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, etc.  My buddy Ben (physics teacher) is my co-sponsor and he gathered up the bed sheet and tape needed for us to make our usual projection screen.

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Post lunch fruit snacks?  Well, duh, they have to be Mario-themed!

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Our Battletech game was a lot of fun.  I was expecting one student to participate and got four that were super psyched.  Naturally, I had set up the game so that I could add more players and everybody got a Mech.  I set it up to test out some advanced tech (ATMs, Streak SRMs, Pulse Lasers, etc).  One side had two Mechs and the goal was to force the withdrawal of the other side.  The other side was three Mechs and had to destroy the side with two Mechs.  We exchanged heavy fire on Mountain terrain from the Mountains and Canyons Hexpack.  One student’s Mech went down on the three-Mech side and the two-Mech side was heavily damaged.  After about three hours the kids lost their patience but the outcome was pretty well determined and everyone got prizes.  I put together Battletech “starter” kits that include an old paper map, a Mech, a record sheet, some dice and a copy of the quick start rules.  The students love these and I continued to stoke interest in Battletech. Mission accomplished!

 DND went really well.  We wrapped up the year’s campaign.  I’ll do a separate post about the doings and transpirings in that game.  I have been inundated with requests for kids to join next year’s game and I have a plan for GMing 12 or so kids.  Don’t think its possible?  I disagree.

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Kids don’t just play games at the Overday.  They hang out.  They talk.  They watch movies.  They brought Wreck It Ralph and Frozen and watched both before the Fighting games overtook the projection screen.  I have a video of them singing along with Let It Go en masse, but I will not be posting it.  I don’t want it to go viral for the wrong reasons.  I both love and despise the internet.  Great source of ideas and discussion.  Terrible bullying platform.

 Throughout the entire event Ben and I take turns managing conflicts (which are rare), encouraging kids to get involved with things, playing games with them, and sometimes getting some of our own work done.  Here is Ben in his command center:

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Ah, I love the smell of Physics grading in the morning…and afternoon, and evening.  ;P  Ben and I met at iHOP yesterday at 6:30 AM to discuss the plan, discuss teaching, and discuss life.  He’s a great friend and colleague. Then, off to the event.

The next Overday is in December!  A lot will happen between then and now, chiefly for many of the kids: Super Smash Brothers releasing on 3DS.  I would be shocked if we didn’t rock some kind of tournament structure for that.

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