This compilation is the result of thousands of hours of work and several hundred hours of fun. In the fall semesters of 1991 to 1997, San Diego State University students in EDTEC 670 created these games and faced many challenges:
In grappling with these questions, students learned to look at games (and instruction) through a variety of windows, including Keller's ARCS model, Lepper and Malone's taxonomy of intrinsic motivation, and Csikszentmihalyi's concept of "flow" and model of enjoyment. They also learned the simple heuristic that there's nothing wrong with borrowing elements from existing games. On the contrary, familiar rules allow learners to focus more easily on the instructional content.
In EDTEC 670, card and board game design is used as preparation for the course final project: the development of a computer-based game. This works well instructionally, as students can master the unique blend of being creative and systematic without at the same time worrying about QuickTime movies and HyperTalk scripts. But card games and board games are also useful as ends in themselves. There will never be enough technology to go around to solve every instructional problem, nor is every problem worth the expense of high tech solutions. Board games need not be plugged in, card games are inherently portable, and either can be played in ten minutes. Or in Tibet.
I'd like to thank Jennifer Segars, who merged all the individual files and edited them for consistency of formatting; Matt Stollenwerk, who scanned many of the authors' photos and tweaked them into crispness; Doug Cook, who crafted the cover on the original paper version from scratch in only two hours; and Shelley Carter, Marty Murrillo, Robert Reaves, Charlotte Slater, Stephanie Stout and Mike Wolfe who created many of the board game graphics and edited the 1991 entries; Sharon Jones and Kathleen Ball who organized the 1995 entries. Thanks also to my wife June Dodge, who took on the task of converting all of the games into HTML, which is not what she thought she was getting into when she married me. Most of all I'd like to thank and congratulate the authors of these games. They played the game of making something out of nothing and they won.