Tal and I played a half-dozen games of Boggle this evening. There's no better way to spend quality time with your daughter, have fun, and expand your mind and vocabulary than an engaging word game. Tal learned some new words and surprised me with some great finds that I missed.
English classes around the world spend their time drilling you with grammar and spelling lessons, pathetic workbooks, and lifeless, dull exercises. God knows why. I can teach English better in half the time and have happier children in three basic steps:
1. Read books. Any books, so long as there are new vocabulary words in each one.
2. Write something. Anything.
3. Play word games.
Somehow, I have gotten myself involved in an impromptu interfaith meeting tomorrow with some left-wing Israelis and Palestinians. And all because of the Good Neighbors blog.
The Orlando Sentinel covers an idiotic soccer league which decided that scores, winning, and losing were Bad, so they decided to drop them from their soccer games.
Hopefully, none of you think that just because I've argued against all-or-nothing win-loss scenarios in gaming that I support dropping competition altogether. Nothing could be further from the truth. I argue that we need to further encourage competition beyond the mere win or loss of a single game.
In other words, success and loss should be measured by how hard a challenge you've faced and whether you succeeded in facing and overcoming the challenge, regardless of the outcome of the present game. In an easy game, "winning the game" isn't enough. Against overwhelming odds, you have to set your own standards of victory, regardless of the knowledge that you can't win the game. Dropping competition and challenge altogether is just plain stupid.
Nephilim has published a free downloadable cooperative board game called Carnival of Souls. A little too much dice-rolling, I think, but it's got a neat theme.