If one was to say that board games are for children, 1,500 people from around the world who participated in the World Board Gaming Championship (WBC) would disagree. UF’s Historical Simulations Society would probably oppose the statement, as well.
After fighting the Battle of Waterloo in a simulated board game at the Board Game Players Association’s (BPA) largest event, the WBC, Mark Polelle, Ph.D., professor and adviser to UF’s Historical Simulations Society, returned to UF with a win.
BPA hosts the WBC during the first week of August in Lancaster, Pa., where gamers compete face-to-face and look to be named champions of their favorite games. The weeklong convention is devoted to historical simulated board games. The event is organized for board gamers by board gamers.
Polelle competed in a two-player game, Waterloo 20, simulating the battle between Napoleon and Wellington. Each player maneuvers counters, or game tokens, on a map representing military units available to the respective sides, force march their pieces, help rally stragglers or urge their troops on to advance in battle. “My initial goal with WBC was to scout out a venue for students to practice their historical critical thinking skills in a fun and competitive environment,” said Polelle, “to learn by doing in a fun way.”
To build critical thinking skills and better understand historical events, the students in UF’s Historical Simulation Society compete in games much like Waterloo 20. By competing in the WBC, Polelle brought back experiences he could share with the students as well as awareness of competitive opportunities. “Students can increase their critical thinking skills in a fun way by engaging in national competitions with the best players in the world,” said Polelle.
The Historical Simulations Society meets at 4 p.m. on Wednesdays in Howard 112. For more information, contact Polelle at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Historical Simulations Society student leader, Conner Spaeth, at email@example.com.
Written by Sarah Foltz