This Sunday, November 23rd from 12-6pm will officially be Catan Day at Spielbound! Come by and play one of the many versions of huge hit game Settlers of Catan including Star Trek Catan, Cities & Knights, Seafarers, Stone Age, and Catan: Junior. Never played Settlers of Catan before? That's okay! We will have volunteers available throughout the day to help teach and guide new players along. We will also be using this opportunity to help raise food for the Omaha Food Bank of the Heartland.
My name is Michael Fryda and I am the Teacher Outreach Coordinator for the organization. I'll be maintaining this blog to help you, the reader, understand what Spielbound has to offer you. I am also the contact for teachers in the Metro area who are interested in finding ways to bring board games into their curricula and after school clubs.
Why me? I'm a twelve-year veteran high school teacher and an adjunct professor of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. I teach science at Westside High School in Omaha and I've been involved in creating staff development programs and mentoring first year teachers my entire career.
I've also been sponsoring an after school game club at Westside High School since 2003. A colleague splits the duties with me. Between the two us, we reach over 100 students every Tuesday. When I started the club, I set a series of educative goals for our students. We knew a decade ago, just as we do now that games have strong capacity for teaching critical thinking, strategic thinking, and cost-benefit analysis. All of these thinking modalities are taught in school curricula. We also wanted to be sure that students had a safe, inclusive environment to be at after school. Finally, we wanted to model a positive sporting spirit with our students.
This Saturday, Oct 25, we are joining with Accelerando Coffeehouse to run our 2nd annual Extra Life 24-hour board game marathon! Starting at 9am and finishing at 9am on Sunday we will have a variety of special events and giveaways all to raise funds for the Childrens Miracle Network and our local Children's Hospital. There are many ways that you can participate!
Beginning September 2nd, we'll be offering a slow rollout of our services. Feel free to come by during this time for an early experience to help us sharpen and improve prior to our grand opening to the public; tentatively scheduled for the first week of October.
We encourage you to:
- Grab a Drink
- Play a Game
- Give us your feedback!
The main floor construction is mostly complete including all of the ADA improvements. The exterior fixes are mostly done, too, even with our new sign (just waiting on the black overhang to be installed). Now we're awaiting approval from various city inspections and some additional work in the basement. Once we get the approval, we'll start moving in the games.
Our new sign!
Apologies for the long span since the last update, but while we've been very busy, there hasn't been anything earth-shattering to report, which is mostly good as it means all is moving along nicely.
Almost done with the library entry
Apologies for the long silence, but we've been working hard, and this update is full of pictures to prove it. If you've driven past our location, you'd see signs of work in progress as the construction crew works on making accessible entrances.
The first thing that stands out about Mary1 is her restlessness. At 87 years of age, Mary is a familiar figure pacing the hallways at a local assisted living facility for seniors, her small frame practically bouncing with energy. Every time I walk through the door, Mary practically skips over to me in delight, loudly proclaiming, “How ya doin,’ honey?” before bombarding me with questions on when the next activity starts. Her face beams a warm smile as she searches tirelessly for a puzzle or movie, anything to keep herself preoccupied with a task more interesting than the last.
One of Spielbound's important goals is to encourage creativity through designing board games. This often gets overlooked because so few people ever create a game. Doing so takes a lot of work in design, structure, art, and a lot of testing!
This program is intended to help future and current game designers, artists, and advertisers a chance to practice their skills in a supportive environment. This will include the following activities:
Dementia, including that caused by Alzheimer's disease, has become one of the most important (affecting 45 million people) and costly (US$600 billion per year) health problems in our aging world. Yet, we are still far from finding a cure. Fortunately, several recent studies have found a connection between playing board games and preventing dementia. This quote from a very recent research article sums it up nicely: