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Geek Discussion: Are Educational Games Fun?- 53

Episode Overview

In this “Geek Discussion” Episode of Season 5 of Board Gaming with Education, Dustin brings on Jay and Spencer to talk about educational games. Be sure to listen in to hear from their perspectives on educational games. Jay and Dustin are both teachers and have used educational games in their lessons, while Spencer shares some knowledge about RPG games and things he has learned through their use. In this episode, they cover two gaming terms: “kingmaker” and “quarterbacking.” Listen in to hear them discuss these terms and what they mean. They also share actionable items that you can do to participate in the conversation: Tweet @bge_games or comment on Facebook to let us know about an educational game you enjoyed or a game that taught you something. Teachers- let us know what games have been successful in your learning environment!

Jay runs the Asian board game review site called Cardboard East. Spencer owns a vegan restaurant in Taipei called Ooh Cha Cha. He also wrote and designed the RPG system The Northern Realm.

Read more about the episode and take a look at the games they talk about in this episode below.

Our new Facebook Group for Educators: Games-based Learning, Gamification, and Games in Education

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Episode Topics

Jay and Spencer- 1:20

Jay and Spencer co-host the Board Gaming with Education Geek Discussion Episodes! They will be around a lot for Season 5. Be sure to listen in to get to know Jay from Cardboard East and Spencer from the vegan restaurant Ooh Cha Cha and designer of Northern Realms.

Each episode will include three segments- homework review, the “What does Spencer know?” segment (discussion of gaming terms), the episode topic, and homework for the next “Geek Discussion” Episode.

Homework Review- 2:10

Jay, Spencer, and Dustin share some positive experience they have had at a board game night. Jay shares his story about the board game Root and how he failed as the marquise de cat.

Spencer, the RPG-er, shares his story about how a DM he played with helped by adding an element to the story to incorporate a new player to the game. Spencer’s character was in prison and in danger. His companions needed to act fast to save them, and a crow came to one of his companions cells. This was an opportunity for the new player to play a “key” role to playing the hero in RPG story. Instead of receiving the help from the crow he decides to blast the crow with some magic!

Dustin shares his experiences where he has a lot of interactions with selfless players in the board game hobby. Jay has been great at explaining rules to new players, Spencer awesome at preparing RPG adventures, and Joseph, another friend of Dustin’s has been a great board game night host.

“What Does Spencer Know?” (Gaming Terms): “Kingmaker” and “Quarterbacking”- 10:30

Dustin, Jay, and Spencer discuss the terms “kingmaker” and “quarterbacking.” “Kingmaker” is a term used to describe a moment in a game where a third outside player has a decision to make who wins a game between the two other players. “Quarterbacking” is another term for the alpha player, where players take over the game and tell other players what to do instead of letting players make their own decisions.

Are Educational Games Fun? – 16:13

Dustin, Jay, and Spencer jump into the topic of educational games. Games or gaming elements can be used in education in three main ways: games are designed to be educational and specifically to teach something, hobby games designed for entertainment are adapted to a learning environment, and/or gaming elements are added onto a learning environment.

In this episode, they touch on topics related to educational games like boring educational games, educational games they played as students, games they have adapted to their classrooms, some board game companies like Genius Games who create tabletop games to be educational and fun.


Tweet @bge_games or comment on Facebook to let us know about an educational game you enjoyed or a game that taught you something. Teachers- let us know what games have been successful in your learning environment!

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