Game Logic
Teacher Resources

Game Logic: Level Up and Create Your Own Games with Science Activities for Kids

Illustrated by Lena Chandhok
What’s your favorite game to play? Making a game is a creative, logical, even scientific activity! In Game Logic: Level Up and Create Your Own Games with Science Activities for Kids, middle schoolers learn how games work and even design their own games. Hands-on gaming projects, essential questions, links to primary sources, and more get kids thinking analytically about the games they love.

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Planetarium Quarterly
Every so often, a book delivers on its promises.  Game Logic is certainly one of them. Game Logic introduces the history of many games, not just where they came from, but how playing them was developed (if known).  Many games through the ages have incredible histories, not only of why they were created, but how the developer came to make something so different than what was already on the market.

This book also introduces many people involved in the history of gaming, including Milton Bradley (yes, a real person), Gary Gybax, James Olds, and Matt Leacock.  Why were they, and others, so influential in the world of gaming?   How did they start doing so?  What makes them so good in what they’ve done?

Why do people play games?  There is a chapter on the reasoning, including the biology and psychology of gaming, what makes them not only fun, but also healthy for our well-being.

Much of this book also is a primer on making games: from the research, to the sweat equity, to the packaging and final marketing.  Many activities are geared to the reader’s curiosity as to the steps on how to actually put a game together.  Even if every reader might not want to become the next gamemaster, just reading the activities on what to do could possibly light a torch in one person’s mind as to how take a potential game out of that mind and onto a game board, or deck of cards, or computer.

Even though this book is rated for ages 9-12, adults will be just as fascinated with the concept of gaming, as introduced in Game Logic. Also, who knows, they might also have had a game concept and weren’t sure how to proceed.  Pick up this book.  It is the perfect way to learn how to do so.”
Part of the Build It Yourself series this book focuses on games and includes several activities for further exploration. Geared for upper elementary aged readers Game Logic covers more than I anticipated and pleasantly I now have a better understanding of gaming. . . .Strongly recommended for STEM/STEAM in schools and libraries and all of the activities can be done at home making this a valuable resource for homeschooling families. (4.5 stars) Read the complete review online.

Game Logic is useful for STEM teachers and anyone interested in the history of games and how to create them. Six chapters delve into various games and provide a great foundation for understanding the variety of board and tabletop games. 31 pages of activities complement the text which is chockful of information and advice. Activities vary from making your own cards with block printing, comparing modern board games to mobile app versions, and modifying role-playing games. Books, magazines, and web sites are suggested. A table of contents, a timeline, and an index are included. ” is part of Nomad Press' Build it Yourself series. Strongly recommended for elementary and junior high school students.”

Always In The Middle
“. . . This new book by Angie Smibert features six chapters covering the past, present, and future of games. Each of the chapters begins with an essential question, encouraging kids to develop both their critical and creative thinking skills. Like other books in the BUILD IT YOURSELF series, QR codes take you to primary sources and a frequent WORDS TO KNOW box defines challenging vocabulary. . . After my initial reading of the 122 pages, I was motivated to search  for some of the modern board games covered here like TICKET TO RIDE. For young readers, the ideas and projects are perfect to keep those Summer brains churning. The volume would also work well in the classroom this Fall. Don’t bother rolling the dice because GAME LOGIC is available now for all game lovers.” Read more online.

Matt Leacock, designer of Pandemic
Game Logic gives kids a robust foundation for learning how to create modern, tabletop games. Its sections on the history of games, the psychology of play, and the included exercises really set it apart.”

Carrie Harris, Evil Hat Games
“Ready your dice and your meeples for this excellent guide to everything in board games!”

Praise for Video Games: Design and Code Your Own Adventure with 17 Projects
A Best of the Best selection - 2016 Kansas State Reading Circle

This appealing offering should prove to be a popular addition to STEAM collections.”

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Detailed Book Description

What was the last game you played? Video game, board game, world building game?

In Game Logic: Level Up and Create Your Own Games with Science Activities for Kids, middle schoolers take on the world of games by figuring out what makes them challenging, fun, and addictive! Kids love games. Board games are still wildly popular, despite the profusion of video gaming devices that reach audiences as young as toddlerhood. World-building games such as Settlers of Catan and Dungeons & Dragons are played by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, both online and in living rooms, and gaming conferences occur around the globe, including hundreds in the United States alone. This makes gaming a perfect backdrop for learning new skills!

This book takes kids on a journey to discover the history of games, and then leads them from their initial idea for a new game through several iterations of a game all the way to playing the final version of a game they created. Educators use games as a way to introduce logic, collaboration, and persistence in classrooms, and Game Logic is the perfect companion. Kids explore the processes of both playing and creating games while developing critical and creative thinking skills that apply to tasks and concepts across academic fields.

Game Logic includes hands-on STEAM activities and critical thinking exercises related to games. Fun facts, links to online primary sources and other supplemental material, and essential questions encourage readers to dive deeper into the games they love to discover what makes them tick.

Try these hands-on STEAM projects!

  • Research an ancient game
  • Analyze different types of games—roleplaying, tabletop, video
  • Build a prototype and playtest it with friends
  • Design a new game
Available In:
Hardcover, $22.95
Paperback, $17.95
Includes: Table of Contents | Timeline | Glossary | Resources | Index
Specs: 8 x 10 size | 4-color interior | 128 pages
Subject: Science
Content Focus: Engineering & Technology



What Is a Game?

Chapter 1
Even Paraohs Loved Board Games

Chapter 2
Modern Game Changers

Chapter 3
Your Brain on Games

Chapter 4
Game Design

Chapter 5
Game Development and Beyond

Chapter 6
The Future of Games

Metric Conversions
Essential Questions