I want to talk about two things. One is how to make games so you can broaden the range of activities you your students do.  Hopefully I can give you some ideas on how to design activities, things that may take a little time to prepare, but that you can reuse many times. Things that will save you time over the long run and will make your classrooms happier places.

And the other is why human beings enjoy games. If you think about that like a scientist does, there is no reason why we should. Two things matter to human beings: surviving and reproducing. On the surface, being able to do puzzles doesn’t help us do either. Starring in the NBA may help your chances of reproducing, but even world champion crossword puzzle solvers have more trouble meeting chicks than average basketball players.

But first I want to tease you a bit. Before we get to the main question I want to show you an amazing little video. If you work in a call center this may make you concerned about your job. Here goes.

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Welcome to Chess

It is the world’s greatest board game. Chess is endlessly fascinating and simple to learn. It is open to anyone. An entire career can cost less than a set of golf clubs. You can play a lifetime without worrying about injury or growing too old to compete. Introduce someone to chess when they are young and you are giving them a hobby which will provide them joy their entire lives.

Everything needed to run a chess club is here. We provide handouts on strategy, show you how to organize tournaments and create ratings for players. There are links to point your members toward higher level material when they are ready.

And there is a lot of advanced stuff. More books are written about chess than any other game. But you don’t need a library to improve. (Hikaru Nakamura, the current world number five, says he has only read two chess books in his life.)

Of course you do need to learn the rules. For an explanation of how the men move click on How to Play. You can download handouts to photocopy in the Handouts section.