As previously described, our second game for our fall experiment covered the computer science concept of organizing the data for the purpose of searching it later. This post summarizes some of the game-day observations made of the participants.
Note that the full set of game rules used in this experiment is available as a PDF.
The girls in the abstract group found the game entertaining and fun. Once they got through the first round of play, and better understood the mechanics of the game, they found the second and third rounds more interesting. Lots of smiles and laughter was observed throughout. Players liked the “extra turn” card the best, and generally seemed to learn a lot from the game.
As a downside, some players got a bit bored in the first round because they didn’t yet understand how to use all the action cards. It took a while to see how to isolate their target cards.
Some players who finished quickly enjoyed helping others get their target cards. A few players employed a card sorting strategy later in the game to win the third round, while others managed to merge piles before splitting them.
The story group seemed to generally enjoy the gameplay, especially organizing cards on the table in front of the players. Players seemed to take a lot of time considering which card to play. Occasionally, a player would need help understanding what to do or how to do it.
At one table, when the girls got their target cards, the facilitator asked each one to discreetly locate their card on the table to double check their understanding. The table had only one winner who got her target card in just two turns after the target cards were distributed. Only one round was played.
At the second table, the girls had some difficulty understanding what it meant to isolate their target card from the others in a pile, but they eventually got it. The girl who won did so on her very first turn after receiving the target card. So she read the target card description about the villain, which helped connect back to the story again. All remaining players got their target card in the next round or two.