Tag: Change

Calvinball: Playing by the Rules

Bartel lays out the “unofficial official rules” for Calvinball, a game characterized by mayhem and nonsense. Those of you familiar with Bill Watterson’s comic strip Calvin and Hobbes will recognize that Calvinball is a free-for-all where the rules change on the whim of the player who has the upper hand.

The interesting thing about games is that you need rules for the play to be enjoyable. But the rules should have some flexibility – consider how a golf handicap makes it possible for players with different levels of skill to play together.

We’ve played a modified version of Calvinball with our youthgroup. It’s a lot of fun to play once in a while. To keep the game engaging we played it like this: the game starts off with the same rules as half-court basketball. At any time the player in possession of the ball my change one rule. Typically the game morphs into something like soccer or dodgeball.

The rules layed out on bartel.org imply that anyone within a Zone can call a rule-change at any time. The zones can be changed but there must remain zones on the field in order to play.

It’s a fun and worthy way to kill an afternoon. But be prepared to play a classic game of stickball if your group isn’t energized by a game with ultimate flexibility.

Game-Changers: Homeless World Cup

preparation for the Homeless World Cup

Inviting homeless players into the game

Our youth group has a regular activity that we call “sack lunch evangelism” where we go into the downtown area and share a meal with someone we think would appreciate it. At the same time we share our stories and listen to other people’s stories. It’s a great time.

But our activity is based on the presumption that homeless people need food. Maybe homeless people need something else as well?

Reading about the Homeless World Cup, an organized tournament of street soccer that brings together homeless and disadvantaged people from around the world in a global trophy challenge, I got thinking. Homeless people also need the ability to participate, develop or restore a sense of self worth, they need teamwork. And they simply need to do something fun every now and then.

Some ideas: Checkers on the Square. Arm your kids with checker boards and send them downtown in teams. See if they can strike up some play with people on the street.

Soccer for a Change. For a youth group activity play some street soccer. Show some video clips to get some discussion going on how we can find creative ways to reach out to others in our community. TIP: Check out this crazy freestyle street soccer clip!

Board Game Street Soccer. For a rainy-day small group activity, try this Street Soccer board game. Follow up with video clips and a discussion of the Homeless World Cup.

Taking it to the Streets. Grab some kids and a soccer ball and start a pickup game in public alley or square. See who joins in. Discuss.

More freestyle Street Soccer Videos:

Football Freestyle
Freestyle Futbol (atop skyscraper, skeery)
Street Futbol from Brazil

Urgent Evoke Is Urgent

In seven days it’s all over. The ten week alternate reality game Urgent Evoke will close its first “crash course in saving the world.”

Players take the role of special agents in a dystopian world, tasked with learning about social problems, shadowing leaders and innovators, and launching collaborative projects. The game brings real-world materials, news and people into play, giving players bite-sized challenges that take them closer to being agents of social change.

If you haven’t started yet, you’re behind the 8-ball for sure. But, at least initially, the challenges can be done fairly quickly. Complete 10 challenges and you can be certified as an EVOKE Social Innovator – Class of 2010.

Urgent Evoke

[Via Howard Rheingold]