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High Society» Forums » Sessions

Subject: At the JCC rss

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Redwood Shores
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This session was held at my local JCC.

The participants were in their 70's, 80's, and 90's.

I wanted to introduce board games to seniors, so
I began with an introductory presentation,
and a sample game after the presentation.

For the sample game I picked High Society,
since it is by far one of the easiest games to
teach a group of people, and yet it is a game
that can hold interest for an extended period
of time.

I should mention that among the participants were
former mathematicians and physicists.

We began the session with all cards laid open, and we divided the
group into 2-3 people per "player". This was very useful because the
participants did not have to listen to me all the time, they could
converse among themselves as to what is the best strategy.

Here are a couple of comments:

1) Everyone liked the items being bidded on, although this is a fairly
abstract bidding game, people still liked to know what they were
bidding on, and they liked the nice graphics that came along with
the items

2) I gave a rough rules of thumb, such as bid about twice the
numerical value of the item in millions of $, since that is about
the division of total value to total money. This is a bad bidding
strategy, because you will end up underbidding most of the time,
but it is a good rule of thumb as to what something is worth.

3) The seniors were very aggressive in obtaining items, sometimes
going way beyond my suggested rule of thumb (2). To me, that is a
sign of the success of a game, there is a lot going on in terms of
opportunity cost, when and how much to bid.

4) One senior commented on "discrete nature" of money, yay,
kudos to the designer!

5) One senior commented on the "importance" of bidding first,
yay, they are getting some of the tradeoffs.

6) It was hard for some seniors to do multiple number additions.
Although if one really remembers their previous bid, it is
just a matter of adding on.

7) As always the catastrophe cards were very entertaining, and
very hard to bid on.

8) I guess it was successful enough, that most seniors wanted
to know how to obtain a copy. Some made the effort of
jotting down the game designer's name.

9) Some seniors kept asking whether they would be able to
play online or find the set of rules online.

10) I have been invited back in the fall, but I think
High Society will be able to hold on its own again.
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United States
New York
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Sounds like the group had a fun time and I'm sure they really appreciated it!
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