Games Teenagers Play...My School's Boardgame Club
Colin Gill
United States
Elmore
Alabama
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I teach in a magnet arts school and sponsor a board game club. The students are a bit odd but they're nice kids and are generally more motivated(especially for their magnet classes) than kids in more traditional schools. I sponsored a Chess club when interest warranted. A couple of years ago, a few students asked me to sponsor the Chess club again and another student asked me to sponsor a Scrabble club. Rather than have two clubs, I chose to sponsor a general board game club. Membership dues are to donate a new, in shrink, game worth about $10. Once dues have been paid, members can check out games over a weekend with the caveat that they must be returned complete and undamaged. I thought that I would be like the kids' Obi-Wan Kenobi and take them on their "first step to a larger world" with Eurogames, it turns out that they don't quite pick the same games that I would. This is a list of (mostly) the games that the members of my game club play. We have some other games, but they never get played, so I am omitting those.
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1. Board Game: Fluxx [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:6629] [Average Rating:5.69 Unranked]
Colin Gill
United States
Elmore
Alabama
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Fluxx was played a lot in the early days of the club. The kids like to find one game that everybody who shows up can play as a group. The large number of players combined with a relatively short play time made this a popular choice until almost everyone got burned out on it. Among my adult friends, this game is very hit or miss.
 
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2. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:415] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
Colin Gill
United States
Elmore
Alabama
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Chess is an on again, off again favorite for the club. Latecomers who miss out on in progress games will start pick-up games of Chess. Once upon a time, I was a mediocre but improving player. I'm really rusty now, but try to show the kids some strategy.
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3. Board Game: Trouble [Average Rating:3.74 Overall Rank:15330]
Colin Gill
United States
Elmore
Alabama
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This saw a fair amount of play in the early days of the club. The kids have become a bit more willing to try new games since then.
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4. Board Game: Monopoly: Electronic Banking [Average Rating:5.03 Overall Rank:15187]
Colin Gill
United States
Elmore
Alabama
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A couple of the club members pooled their money to buy a copy of this version of Monopoly because of the novelty of the banking computer. As it turns out, the electronic gizmo slows the game to a crawl and removes the only real benefit of Monopoly, learning to do mental math. If you've dealt with children in an educational setting lately, you'll know that they need the mental math practice. We're not able to stay at school very late and the kids tried to play the same game over several meetings. It didn't work well and this practically never gets any play.
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5. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:121]
Colin Gill
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Elmore
Alabama
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I brought a Go set that I got at a yard sale a number of years ago. A couple of the kids will try to play and show other kids how to play. It never gets a lot of players, but it makes it to the table every now and then.
 
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6. Board Game: The Game of Life: Spongebob Squarepants Edition [Average Rating:4.45 Overall Rank:14881]
Colin Gill
United States
Elmore
Alabama
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This gets played more than you might guess. Sometimes other classes will have a light day or time to kill before an assembly and will borrow this game. Sometimes the mind of the teenager baffles me.
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7. Board Game: The Game of Life [Average Rating:4.19 Overall Rank:15331]
Colin Gill
United States
Elmore
Alabama
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This gets more play than the Spongebob version. At least there's that. A game of this can be played in the hour or so that the school is still open after school, making it as lengthy a game as they can play.
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8. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
 
Colin Gill
United States
Elmore
Alabama
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I picked this up on clearance at Barnes and Noble a couple of years ago so that the kids could get an introduction to Euros. The kids like it and will get it to the table fairly often. Maybe there's hope for them yet.
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9. Board Game: Vegas Showdown [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:411]
Colin Gill
United States
Elmore
Alabama
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I bought this for $5 at Toys R Us, in an effort to give the club another hobby quality game to play. No member of the club has ever opened the box. The theme seemed a bit iffy for taking to school, but you don't actually gamble. Oh well, you win some you lose some.
 
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10. Board Game: Apples to Apples [Average Rating:5.90 Overall Rank:3149] [Average Rating:5.90 Unranked]
Colin Gill
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Elmore
Alabama
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This gets a lot of play. Lots of people can play at once and individual rounds are really quick. Everything the kids are looking for in a game. They enjoy it but I really feel the generation gap when I play with them. Playing cards like Jimmy Hoffa and Che Guevara are a waste of time when the judge has no idea who they are.
 
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11. Board Game: Liar's Dice [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:561]
Colin Gill
United States
Elmore
Alabama
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This is the current game of choice. I bought it at Barnes and Noble for $1 and it sat on the shelf untouched for a year. Now that it has made it to the table, it gets played every week. There's not a lot of depth, but it's quick, fun, and lets everybody play.
 
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12. Board Game: Clue [Average Rating:5.65 Overall Rank:7573]
Colin Gill
United States
Elmore
Alabama
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This used to get played a lot and is frequently borrowed by students with downtime in other classes. This has fallen by the wayside with the club in liew of games like Perudo and Apples to Apples.
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13. Board Game: Catan: Portable Edition [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:1479]
Colin Gill
United States
Elmore
Alabama
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A couple of students in the club asked for advice in picking a game to donate. I suggested Settlers of Catan and the game store only had the travel edition in stock. It's been played a few times, but I think that it would have caught on more if they had been able to find the normal edition. The bits are tiny enough to make this version awkward to play.
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14. Board Game: Munchkin [Average Rating:5.94 Overall Rank:3346] [Average Rating:5.94 Unranked]
Colin Gill
United States
Elmore
Alabama
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A few of the more serious gamer kids played this every week for the first year of the club's existence. Since most of that group graduated, this doesn't get played anymore.
 
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15. Board Game: Loot [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:1624]
Colin Gill
United States
Elmore
Alabama
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This is easy enough to play that it gets pulled out fairly often. If new potential members show up, the kids will use this as their gateway game.
 
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16. Board Game: Scrabble [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:1504]
Colin Gill
United States
Elmore
Alabama
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The kids in the club don't really care for word games. Scrabble has been borrowed a couple of times but almost never gets played now. Our creative writing teacher sponsored a Scrabble tournament a few years back and had a really low turnout. Scrabble hasn't gotten any more popular with kids since then. Even the kid that brought it in as his donation doesn't play it.
 
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17. Board Game: Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:270] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Colin Gill
United States
Elmore
Alabama
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I found this at Target for $7 and brought it in. I figured that at that price, if it wasn't played, I could take it home and use the extra terrain. It's been played once since it's been at school. I thought that it would be taken home as a weekend checkout, but it hasn't. One of the kids has it at home and a couple have played it and like it, but it sits unplayed at school.
 
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18. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:261]
Colin Gill
United States
Elmore
Alabama
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The kids in the club aren't destructive, per se, but often they aren't as careful with the games as I would like. I'm fairly hesitant to bring games from home, but I make an exception every so often. I've brought For Sale a couple of times and it always goes over well.
 
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19. Board Game: Chrononauts [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:1946] [Average Rating:6.22 Unranked]
Colin Gill
United States
Elmore
Alabama
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This is another game that I brought from home. The kids liked Chrononauts enough that they've asked me to bring it again.
 
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20. Board Game: The Great Chili Cookoff [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:8619]
Colin Gill
United States
Elmore
Alabama
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I also brought this one from home to play. It went over well, but For Sale was a better fit for the group. The kids seem to like quick, light games with a goofy theme.
 
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