Wednesday, 21 August 2013

by Sharizah binti Mohamed Shihab, Form 4 Science 2, Class of 2014

Photo credit: @cempakaschools twitter

When you think about board games, the first things that comes to mind are Cluedo, Scrabble, Monopoly. Definitely classics, but you might just groan at the monotony of having to play seemingly endless rounds of Monopoly every time someone asks what boardgames you have. Fret no more, instead open your eyes to the new generation of board games. Once you do, snakes and ladders will thankfully never see the light of day again. Also known as Euro or German-styled boardgames, these innovative games are specifically designed to challenge one’s mind and explore the depths of one’s creativity. The games also make a point of involving the use of critical thinking skills, thus having an educational edge.

Since 2008, a convention aptly named THINKcon has been held to encourage students to take an interest in the games. As a twist to this year’s THINKcon, it became an event which contributed 3 percent to this year’s First House Cup competition. Organized by Mr Edwin Wong and Dr Iskandar Rizal, the convention was an enormous success. THINKcon was not only attended by Cempakans but also by teachers, parents, visitors and even some ex-Cempakans who tried their hands at the games provided and to compete as a part of this years FHC competition. Needless to say, the Concourse area of Bangsar Village was packed with Cempakans last Saturday.

Photo credit: @cempakaschools twitter

Cempaka Schools featured various games that day, the main ones being Subbuteo Table Soccer, Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne. The games allowed the four houses to develop their thinking skills in a fun way as well as bond in a competitive spirit. As promised, here are some comments of the games from a few players themselves.

“Carcassonne is a multiplayer tactical game where you have to place tokens on tiles strategically to gain points to win the game. When I played this game during the competition, I had butterflies in my stomach as you never know when the standings can take a sudden turn. I managed to win, but by a mere two points! The game is easily addictive, you have to think a lot and strategize as you play.”
- Koh Ji Chuen, Seladang Cacassones player

“The objective of Settlers of Catan is to build settlements, roads and cities and basically develop your settlement area until you achieve the most points. Honestly, I didn't think I'd be very interested in the game at first but after actually taking the time to read through the rules, I found it to be quite fun! It was definitely intense and pressuring, battling for the last few crucial points in the First House Cup. Settlers involve planning five moves ahead, anticipating your opponent's next move and deducing the gameplay from just looking at the number of cards left in everyone's hands. My brain really got a workout. I never thought I'd be jumping, face flushed and on the verge of a heart attack just over a board game but it's definitely an experience I'll never forget.”
- Chin Wye Mun, Beruang Settlers of Catan player

“Table soccer, or Subbuteo, is a table top soccer game where participants have to flick mini figures and guide the ball into the goalpost. Basically, the game follows a real soccer match’s rules and regulations with a little extra complication at the side due to the flicking. I played my first actual game of Subbuteo against Harimau together with my partner, Vanisha in the Girls’ doubles. I felt pretty nervous but excited at the same time. After we won the game with a tricky 2-0, both of us felt confident for the second match with Merpati. However, that match was much more intense and difficult than the previous one! With a few misses and inaccurate flicking, the game resulted in a nil-nil score. Who knew flicking took so much concentration? A flick too hard and the little figurine shoots right off the soccer turf, a flick too soft and it barely moves at all!"
- Woon Tyen Yee, Seladang Subbuteo player

Photo credit: Nimeesha Chan

Help University had also set up various booths to showcase several original games designed for educational purposes. To make things more interesting, an inspiring cardboard arcade showcase was set up by some of the younger children. With the excitement about the football season kicking off again, THINKcon also showcased a little special event - an EPL Opening Match Predictor shoot-out!

Besides all that, “A New Kind of Hero” comic workshop and competition was held by an award-winning comic character designer. Creativity was showcased in abundance that day as house teams presented standout comic heroes, sidekicks and villains. Prizes were awarded to the top 3 submissions.

All in all, THINKcon 2013 was a successful event with a great turn out. Attendees walked away most impressed, their mindset of a board game now probably altered more than a little. The end of the highly eventful day saw Merpati as the overall winner, followed by Helang, Seladang and Harimau. It was a great way to end the Raya break, and I most definitely look forward to the next THINKcon convention.
by Amanda Lee Yue Ping 00:27 19 comments | in , , , , ,


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