Saturday, November 18, 2006

Skill and Luck in games

This week's guest blogger is Daughter the Elder, who gave the following presentation on games to her Year 2 class this week.

Two aspects of games are skill and luck.

Take Spy Alley for one example. You are a spy from a nation and you are trying to collect information about other nations. When you are going around the board, you are collecting passwords, disguises, code books and keys. The object of the game is to keep your identity a secret and to destroy the other players by guessing their identity. You need to be prepared for anything in Spy Alley, which is skill, and when you try to guess which spy another person is it is mostly luck but you can base it on what they are collecting.

One game that is mostly skill is Number Chase. In Number Chase, one person thinks of a number between 1 and 50. You have 50 cards, which are laid out on the table. Players take it in turn to guess what the number is. Each number has a question on the back of it that will usually help you to guess the number. For instance, on the back of 49 it says, "Is the number in the range of 5-45?". 48 asks if it’s an even number, and 35 says, "Is there a 7 in the number?" The object of the game is to guess the number that the person is thinking of. The skill is how you describe numbers.

Some games are either only skill or only luck.

One game that is only skill is chess, because you are not rolling any dice or playing cards. You are just moving pieces to a point where you can check or furthermore checkmate your opponent, and you make all the decisions yourself whereas Snakes & Ladders is only luck, because you are only rolling dice to move yourself and it is lucky if you land on a ladder but unlucky if you land on a snake. In rolling dice, you can’t control what you roll and where you go but by moving a piece in chess you have control in where it goes.

Games can use lots of different skills.

In Catch the Match, the skill is pattern matching. You need to find the one and only matching picture in two cards.

In Halli Galli, the skills are quick hands and good addition and subtraction in getting to 5.

In Make 'n' Break, you have a timer and ten blocks. The object of the game is to build the building on the cards as quickly as possible. Some cards let you use any colour of block whereas the other cards give you the colour of block so you must use exactly that colour block. The skill is how fast you can build and also pattern matching because you have to match the colours on the card to the blocks.

In Iglu Pop, you have 12 igloos. Each has a different number of little balls inside it. You have to pick up the igloos and guess which number of beads are in there. The skill is how good your hearing is, except it is hard when there is a small amount of beads in there because they can move around easily so that means that it sounds like there are more beads than there really are.

In Loopin’ Louie, you have three chickens and there is an aeroplane which is trying to knock over your chickens. You have a flipper which helps you block Louie’s aeroplane and stop it from knocking your chickens. If it knocks all your chickens, you lose. The skill is how you flick the aeroplane because sometimes you flick it with not enough power and sometimes you flick it with too much power, so it skips the other players’ chickens and hits your own.

In Dawn Under
, you have 20 vampires and coffins on the board. When it is your turn, you try to find a colour which matches one of your outer two vampires. The skill of Dawn Under is memory.

Knowledge you use in games

When you play Snakes & Ladders, you need to be able to read the numbers up to 100 and also add the number on the die to the number on your space.

Space Shuffle is a game about the order of the planets. You also need to do lots of addition.


Yehuda said...



Gerald McD said...

A new generation of game blogger! How cool!

Nice job, and I hope we see more from her in the future.

Friendless said...

Very good work, Biggie. Hope you got all that, Fraser.