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LAYMAN ALLEN and Joan Ross have devised two extensions to the game of EQUATIONS. Allen has utilized the concept of mathematical balance in constructing games that bear a variety of academic content (for example, ON-WORDS and ON-SETS). The game quality in such cases depends on the complexity of problems that one player constructs for the others. The game is more durable when it is set in a metagame matrix that matches equally proficient players at each level of competence. When EQUATIONS is set in such a metagame it can become an Olympian struggle. In fact, during the past eight years there has been a National Academic Games Olympics in which students from many different states have participated. These Games have been held in Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Schools interested in participating in future Games may secure information about them by writing to Robert W. Allen, Director; National Academic Olympics Project; Box 214; Newhall, California.

The two games presented in Chapter 13 are additions to EQUATIONS to facilitate introduction of the basic game to beginners and to permit extension of the basic game to more sophisticated mathematical ideas for more experienced players. With EQUATIONS AUTO-MATE IMP KITS, Allen and Ross have arranged for a single individual to play by himself. In a series of look-up tables the other player is represented and his choices are indicated. Furthermore, the learning player's mist,akes are explained and corrected. In effect, this variation transforms the basic structure of EQUATIONS into a teaching machine which retains the drama and uncertainty of plays of the actual games between two or more players.

ADVENTUROUS EQUATIONS calls for several players and is similar to Dealer's Choice in POKER. Each player can change the rules at the beginning of play as well as play the game. This change is an open invitation for the players to take part in the rule-making function and to experience control over the rule structure. Under the rules governing orderly change, both individual and group controls are exercised. The rules for change permit certain kinds of individual advantage, thus teaching that taking relevant and legitimate advantage is allowed. At the same time irrelevant advantages are banned as illegitimate. It is the teacher's role to define relevant and legitimate changes. Since players will think of rules that the authors do not mention, this teacher function becomes a valuable dynamic tool in the mathematical and social education of the players. Be prepared for both delightful and sticky innovations. The authors will be interested in the innovations and your decisions. They are ready to serve as a court of appeal when needed.

The senior author is a prolific game inventor who has concentrated on ways to practice academic content dynamically. He is interested in other game-inventor's products, and will gladly advise and encourage them.


Reproduced with permission.