Friday, August 20, 2010

TVO Kids : Playing Shakespeare

Here’s a game for the kids that I’d not seen before, and will be showing my kids this afternoon.  Playing Shakespeare (that name is used so often I can’t really title my posts with it!) is a simple logic game where 6 characters from the plays are pictured, and “Shakespeare” gives you clues like “The person I am thinking of is not in Macbeth.”  You then cross out all the people that he’s not thinking of and reveal the mystery character.

It’s certainly simple, but it’s not for us adults.  It does show a very simple way to integrate Shakespeare into a simple game, though.  Instead of characters like mailman and fireman, the kids get to see Claudius, Romeo, Witches, and so on.  Throughout the game, “Shakespeare” occasionally gives clues and bits of trivia.  After the final character is revealed, something is told about that character and his play.

The only thing that I think they cheaped out on was “Shakespeare” himself.  A fixed image of a young black man, dressed in fancy Elizabethan stage garb (I’m sure there’s a better description than that), is moved back and forth in front of a background. It’s not even animated, his lips don’t move or anything.  They should have punted on that and animated and actual cartoon Shakespeare.  [ Is it racist to point out that they’ve got a black guy playing him?  I think it’s just an inaccuracy worth noting.  I certainly would have said “The woman playing him” if they’d equally inaccurately made him female.]

Other than that, though, it’s cute enough and I can only hope that my kids don’t exhaust all the “facts” in a single day. 

UPDATE:  Don’t forget to hit the “Flip” button on any card to learn the facts it expects you to know.  I was wondering where the base Shakespeare knowledge was expected to come from.

I’m wondering if this could be turned into a card game of some sort?  The idea of character cards with ‘stats’ like what play they were in, and major plot points, could make a great deck.  But what could the rules of the game be?

I suppose you could pair up the cards (either as marriages/couples, or murderer/victim) and then treat it like any other “find the pairs” game.  Got any Juliets?


JM said...

Hey Duane...just WHAT have you got against Women!?!! :)

I understand your concern but...
Silly, isn't it, that we even have to bother to worry about such a thing, in my opinion. Or shouldn't smaller things like facts matter anymore?

JM said...

It's a great little game.

But speaking of a lack of authenticity--"Shakespeare's" 'English' accent. Couldn't they have found someone who could do one?

Elizabeth R said...

Hmm, maybe there could be a modified version of Clue with various Shakespeare characters subbing in for Prof. Plum et al. Of course I'm not sure how you'd work all the stats in there - maybe instead of straight-out drawing a card with the character's name/picture (like in Clue), you'd draw a card with a clue as to the character.

Elizabeth R said...

And yeah, I agree with both of you - the "Shakespeare" on that game is tres annoying.

lou said...

this is great askids will learn that shakespere is fun and nothing to be frightened of , like eating vegtables quite nice once get used to them!