Not Your Parent’s Board Games — At Eagle Rock, It’s All in the Cards

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Most everyone enjoys board games. Monopoly, Risk and Sorry come to mind when you think of tossing dice and moving little figures around on a board. However, a board game renaissance has taken place in recent years with a multitude of new and unique games being produced.

Eagle Rock School students have embraced this new golden age of board gaming and it’s not at all unusual to see clusters of students playing games in the library during their free time. One game that seems to have captivated these gamers in recent times is Dominion, developed by Donald X. Vaccarino.


Dominion lacks a board (many “board games” do these days) and opts instead for a cards-only approach. It was the first of a genre called “deck building” in which players buy cards from a central market and add them to their deck. The primary objective is to have the most points in your deck by the end of the game. What makes the game unique is that there are literally hundreds of different cards (thanks to Dominion’s 12 expansions) that you can add to the marketplace.

Not only is the game fun to play, a side benefit of Dominion assists students in their memory, critical thinking and problem solving skills — not to mention social skills such as learning to lose or win with grace. This fun phenomenon began when a small group of enthusiastic students patiently taught a growing population of the Eagle Rock community how to play Dominion.

As a result, on any given night you can find a diverse group of students, ranging from first trimester newbies to graduating students, anxiously gripping their cards while awaiting their next turn.

Dominion and other games gives students an option for evening entertainment that they might have never considered — especially if they have not-so-fond memories of four-hour Monopoly games that ended with someone flipping the board in frustration.

In a time of ever-increasing reliance on technology for our entertainment and gaming, these analog games provide students a fun and challenging way to interact with their peers.

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Eagle-Rock-School-Fellow-Brett-YoungermanAbout the Author: Brett Youngerman, Eagle Rock School’s 2016/2017 Public Allies Teaching Fellow In Literacy & Literature, creates curriculum aimed at improving student literacy across all subject areas. Originally from Hillsborough, N.J., Brett received a bachelor of arts degree in English from Goucher College in 2010 and then began work as an outdoor education facilitator at Genesee Valley Outdoor Learning Center in Parkton, Md. He recently completed a masters of arts degree in teaching at Towson University.

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