Recently people have been posting a twist on Battleship that makes the game board a Periodic Table. People are saying: “Cool! Science!” From a science learning perspective, there is nothing with real science learning about that game. What happens when an actual science learning expert and game design enthusiast takes a stab at it?
I’ve posted examples related to this topic before. Necessity is the mother of invention. In coaching students to become good GMs, I crafted this list to help give specific “to dos” that can help GMs improve their skills.
I haven’t posted much over the last week for two reasons. The first is that I have had a lot of meetings and athletic ticket taking for school. The second is that I’ve been organizing two big buy orders for CoolStuffInc.com.
Last night I had a wedding about an hour and ten minutes away. My wife was the personal attendant so she had been there a couple of days already and I had to drive separately. I said to myself: “I need to find a gaming podcast to listen to on the way there!”
I’m prepared to make the argument that this is part of what separates good GMs from inexperienced GMs for role-playing as well. A good GM presents choices that direct the future of the story. The plot unfolds based upon player choices, even if they are unexpected. An inexperienced GM seeks to entrap players with consequences that suggest that they “should have” done what the GM expected them to do all along. Its a “read my mind” style of GMing that comes from a power trip, not an actual interest in developing story. These styles of games have pre-determined outcomes for choices and story points. They are the worst kind of rail-roading. Striking a nerve? Good. Nobody said you getting better would be easy!