I wish I would have remembered this find a couple weeks ago in the spirit of the Olympics! But, we're still in the wake, so let me share this interesting activity. I see it as a variation, specifically, of Air Traffic Controller found in Back Pocket Adventure from Karl Rohnke and Jim Grout (also a variation of any blindfolded activity where others are guiding the non-sighted).
"The Lost Sport" activity is the culminating event (or sport) of the MOOG (massively open online game) The Lost Ring created, in part, by Jane McGonigal, Ph.D. (author of, Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World - I highly recommend the read!! See more at the RIB Site) Jane's Bio reads: [Jane] is a world-renowned designer of alternate reality games - or, games that are designed to improve real lives and solve real problems. This sounds like what we do as adventure educators! Awesome. Jane's book goes way beyond simply "playing" video games, it's about changing the world as we know it!! Anyway, I digress - back to The Lost Game.
Six months before the 2008 Olympics, McGonigal (and others) designed this online experience to engage and draw in the "younger generation" into the Olympic experience. In a nutshell, players from around the world helped discover clues (and chronicled on a wiki - see below) to a sport that was "banned" from the Olympics in Roman times (I'm don't remember the reason why - spoiler alert: this is an alternate reality game). Here is the Interactive Case Study about the overall event if you want to dig deeper. Here is The Lost Ring Wiki created by (hundreds? thousands? of) people all over the world, basically to find the rules to The Lost Sport ("that can change the world!"). (FYI: This wiki details the plans to create a labyrinth in 9 steps - you'll want to know this is you are up for giving this one a go.)
Finally, to the point!! The Lost Sport: A blindfolded player runs a clover labyrinth with other players creating the walls of the labyrinth in front of the runner. Notice in the video (listen), that the players creating the walls can only hum..... Check this out! (running the labyrinth in under a minute). I have yet to try this, but I'm excited about the potential.
Epilog: If I remember correctly, I believe there was an ultimate competition of labyrinth runners from different countries shortly before the Olympics started in 2008. Through video submission of their runs (I think), countries were awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze (in spirit - I don't think any medals were cast. But, I could be wrong, it was an elaborate effort!!).
Please let me know if you try this and how it went!! Comment below.
All the best, Chris
Robert Fulghum (know for his essay, "All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarden" - still appropriate for today!) wrote a book called, "Words I Wish I Wrote." It was a collection of writings that inspired a lot of his work. Well, for me, the "Book" I wish I wrote is "The Play and Game Leader's Handbook: Facilitating Fun and Positive Interaction," by Bill Michaelis and John M. O'Connell.
This booked is packed with sound and valuable information for those interested in leading games and activities for groups. Chapters include: On Playing on Purpose; The Fundamentals of Play Leadership; Getting It Going; Keeping It Going; and, Ending It well. There is also a chapter on Advanced Leadership Skills for those who have been playing a bit longer than the new game and play leader.
The book and valuable DVDs from Bill Michaelis, that demonstrate the ways of a master Play Leader in action, can be found at the Children Together website.
I've been a fan of Chiji Cards for years now - originally designed as a processing tool for group discussion sessions. They inspired me to write The Chiji Guidebook (along with Steve Simpson, one of the creators of the Chiji Cards) with over two-dozen activities and ideas for the cards.
Recently my friend Amy Climer designed a set of picture cards with images she hand painted. Amy did the legwork to get her creation manufactured into a standard size deck (She funded this project finding supporters with Kickstarter - a wonderful crowd sourced fundraising tool.)
What I love about Amy's deck is it's versatility. First and foremost I can use the picture sides of the Climer Cards with all the activities in The Chiji Guidebook - this gives me the variety I need for the groups I work with multiple times. Using the "other" side of the cards I can sort large groups. "In the deck of 50 cards," Amy details, "are 5 different shapes (groups of 10), 10 numbers (groups of 5), and 6 colors (groups of 8 to 9). The Climber Cards are a powerful pocket-sized tool I highly recommend. Visit Amy's website for details on how you can pick up a deck.
If you are a bit of a cardaholic like me (I love highly portable fun) then check out Blurble. This giant deck of images, I'm sure, could be used in our adventure education settings. As of this post the decks are not publicly available yet, but I'm looking forward to the possibilities (check back on the link from time-to-time). For sure it's going to be a blast to play the game with friends.
We'd love to hear about other great card decks out there and how you use them. Comment below.
All the best, Chris
I found Rory's Story Cubes to be a wonderful addition to my light-weight traveling game bag. The nine dice have a variety of images that can be used to prompt discussions for ice breaker and processing sessions. You can find them online at Gamewright (they have a downloadable PDF on the "rules of play" if you want additional information about the original purpose for the cubes - however, at the time of this blog entry I couldn't open it?!) I have also seen the cubes at Barnes & Noble. While looking for images I saw an Action version and a Voyages version of the cubes - do let me know if these other versions are EE playable.
I also have Rory's Story Cubes on my iPhone - this same app works on my iPad as well (pay once for both devices). I didn't know how much I would actually use the cubes in this tech form, but I've found it to be a hit with some of the adult groups I have worked with (I'm still a bit selective about using my personal technology devices with groups. However, so for, I've had a pretty good sense as to what groups I can count on to be careful.) Some of the most interesting discussions I've had while using technology actually have centered around technology itself and how it has changed the way we communicate and how we spend our time. I'm up for anything that can get a conversation started. I tell my students, "Participants will tend to talk about the things that are at the forefront of their mind, so run with it."
Please send us more adv ed tech - comment below.
All the best, Chris
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Dr. Chris Cavert is an internationally known author, speaker, and trainer in the area of adventure-based activity programming and its relation to community and pro-social behavior development.
This blog is a space for hands-on programable fun - energetic activities and ideas that can be used as a means to bring people together; activities and ideas we as educators can add to our social development curriculums.