Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The Next Generation (of Geeks)

So, for the last half hour of each school day, we have to run enrichment clubs. These have to be fun, but enriching.  That is to say- useful, or educational or of some value in terms of life skills, social skills or personal development. Movie club did not survive long. My school radio club is going great guns, animation club was just a huge stress, but the latest addition to our selection is GEEK GAMES.

It isn’t called that officially. But that’s what I call it, and consequently, what all the kids call it.

Officially, it’s called Games Workshop, or tabletop games, or other such mouthfuls.  But Geek Games describes it entirely accurately. And you know what?  It’s a hit.

I was sort of worried about introducing it. They are not especially tolerant or patient students. When they don’t get their own way they tend to shout, swear, attack you, smash things, or conjecture about your personal life and the legitimacy of your heritage. Geek games are not electronic, have no flashing lights or online multiplayer modes – I wasn’t sure they’d go for it, and then I’d be locked into MAKING them endure it every week for 6 weeks because we can’t change it just because no-one wants to do it.

You can’t let them use their behaviour to blackmail you and dictate terms. Which is why I try to present them with options of my own choosing that I know will work – that’s half my job really. So I was a bit worried they wouldn’t run with it.

Now all I hear is “Yessss! Geek games!  Sir, sir- can we play it again tomorrow?  Go on sir!!”

And I love it. Basically we get to play Hero-Quest! Only the best 80’s fantasy geeky board game EVER! My brother and I used to play this all the time, until he didn’t want to anymore and I could no longer persuade him. And now I get to do it all again. It’s just brilliant.  It’s like I’m 9 again.


And they SO LOVE IT. And they say things like. “Yeah – this is the best game EVER! You can’t even get it anymore!” And we basically roll crappy dice and run around killing skeletons and casting spells and talking utter bollocks for 30 minutes every Tuesday.

So I am cultivating the next generation of geeks and teaching them turn-taking and social skills and how to defeat undead wizards at the same time.

I’m so glad I took it into work with me. Some staff of approximately 30 are also starting to sniff round with excited, nostalgic looks on their faces too, which is quite amusing. I have also introduced my class to Fighting Fantasy books too, which they are kind of loving. Add to this our Ten Minute Marvel Super Movie Marathon we have whilst waiting for taxis at the end of each day and you can see why our class theme tune is...