March 2008

I always have a bit too much on my plate, but then I wouldn’t have it any other way. As I made my way through some backlogged reading I came across this article by Dave Gibson featured in the American Chronicle:

Our Public Libraries Are Being Turned Into Video Arcades

In essence, Mr. Gibson contends that libraries are contributing to the dumbing down of America by shifting their focus away from literature. His memories of libraries are of a place of quiet reverence and literate study and that by offering movies and games, libraries are helping to contribute to illiteracy in America.

Literature is still relevant to today’s youth, but it is competing with a host of other leisure activities. And sadly, literature often gets lost in the shuffle. Today’s libraries have not stopped being a place where literature is respected or readily available. Nor have best sellers and classics disappeared from collection development. What some are noting is an adaptation in marketing. (more…)

Shadows Over CamelotNumber of Players: 3 to 7
Grade Levels: Middle and Up
Length: 45 Minutes +
NYS Standards:
ELA Standard 1: Language for Information and Understanding
ELA Standard 3: Language for Critical Analysis and Evaluation
ELA Standard 4: Language for Social Interaction Students

Together, a noble band of brave knights strive to fend off the onslaught of forces besieging Camelot while keeping an ever watchful eye on their own brethren. There are whispers of a traitor in their midsts. One of their own, striving to offset the company’s efforts to fill the halls of Camelot with the glories of triumph.

So the stage is set for Days of Wonder’s cooperative adventure: Shadows Over Camelot. Players take on the role of one of Camelot’s Knights of the Round Table and, working together, struggle to defend Camelot from the enemies that hope to see it fall. Struggle is an apt word to describe what lies ahead of the knights. Failure is ensured if the players do not work together and take advantage their unique qualities. (more…)

MaxxGrade Level: Primary

Players: 1 to 8

Time: 20 minutes

Games today come with bits. Shiny bits, wooden bits, chits and meeples, animeeples… We see the big box and the eye candy inside and we think, wow this has to be a great game. Sometime it is, but strip away the frills and flair and you are still left with a game.

Max is a simple, frill-free primary level game by Family Pastimes, a company that focuses on cooperative games. Unlike traditional roll and move games for children, where the players move their tokens and accept what fate awaits on each square as they race for the goal, players in Max work together to move three animals to safety before they are caught by Max the cat. (more…)