In sophomore year, I noticed my roommate and suite-mate having trouble with Biology. To help remedy this, I created the first version of the Study Game. It was modeled after Trivial Pursuit, and it required us to separate our subjects into colors and we had to get a certain number right out of each subject in order to win. We created our own cards, and on the night of the game, would hand them to the person next to us. Mauveshirt got my cards, theBossChibi got Mauve’s, and I got Chibi’s cards. That way, the only person who has to answer a question is the person who wrote it.
Does that mean that all questions will be equally difficult? No. Is it entirely subjective? Yes. However, by the time we’re playing the study game, it is to be expected that everyone has studied as much as they would have studied anyways. It is just a means to review the material after having thought critically about it.
It worked, much to my surprise and delight. It remained as a staple and I started redesigning it in junior year. This time, it was more linear and the board was more interesting (or would have been, had I actually finished it). It was going to mirror a game I had designed as an eleven-year-old, with all of these drawings of fantasy creatures and a major overall theme. The penalty cards were things like, “You stepped on a pixie and it cursed you. Go back five spaces to get the curse taken away.” Mauveshirt wrote some pretty punitive penalty cards. Mine tended to send people back two spaces for getting a question wrong- hers sent them back five-seven spaces back.
And there were curse cards. If you got three questions in a row wrong, you got a curse card. I don’t remember these as well since they were adopted right before that board got water damage. I kept it for a while, but redesigned it again at the start of last semester.
The new board features a snake, but I handed out pens when we started playing and it now has a variety of doodles outside of the snake.
We play it almost every weekend, more often if there are tests in the near future. The game is usually accompanied by candy and sugary drinks and a lot of laughter. Recently, we’ve just sort of let the penalty cards fall by the wayside (there was a brief time where you’d have to do push-ups or sit-ups if you got a question wrong, but that’s passed since the weather got cold). So, in essence, it’s a dice rolling game with a lot of review questions. It still works.