By Seraphina Mallon-Breiman

This blog goes out to any Green Mountain College student who has or is interested in taking a class with GMC Math professor Kenneth Mulder. As a graduating senior this semester, I realized that to meet my requirements and walk (on time) in my cap and gown when it came time in May, I would have to take a math class, something I had desperately tried to avoid. However, this semester, I am taking Kenneth’s mathematical theory class, titled ‘Game Systems and Sustainability’ and not feeling as burdened and overwhelmed as I’d thought! This past week, he asked everyone to create their own game, whether it function as a card game/ board game/ live-action model, etc. and this is what I came up with! Feel free to contact me with any questions (or to let me know you’ve had a great laugh) about this theoretical board game titled: Millenial Addition: The Game of College — Enjoy!

CONTEXT: ‘Millennial Addition: The Game of College’ is a board game controlled by a six-sided die for 2-5 players at a time. The board is laid out as an average college campus. Including buildings/stops such as a dining hall, gymnasium, dormitories, auditorium/theater, admissions office, library, main hall, classrooms/faculty offices and security and residence life office. These buildings connect by a spiraling sidewalk and path structure between lawns and recreational fields. Each cement side-walk space contains a positive (+) or negative (-) sign.  

The Aim (Objective) of the Game: As in any normal college environment, there tends to be great pressure to succeed academically and socially within the surrounding collegiate atmosphere. There are multiple variables in surviving and thriving within this fast-paced Arms Race, i.e. traits that confer a positional advantage, two species or cultures evolving and each trying to get ahead of the other. Within this game, the players must remember to excel in their social groups and community as well as succeed scholastically: meaning they must consider their academic GPA as well as their contribution to the community development in which they are investing their time. The selective pressures in this game include the positive and negative spaces/cards which randomly conclude your destiny. This is all based on chance and luck. The places you land determine your mechanism for change and ability to meet the objective within the game. The rewards and punishments for greater or lower fitness in this game mean you are either continually doing well or poorly over time. The faster you are getting to the “graduation” line, the better you are excelling.

Rules of the Game: There are two decks of cards, one deck is labeled with positive (+) cards and one is labeled with negative (-) cards. Upon each round, the player in turn will roll the die. Depending on the number displayed on the die, they will move that many places on the board. These places exist as side-walk space, which contain positive (+) or negative (-) sign symbols, correlating with the two separate decks of cards.

There 30 places on the board. (If you get a negative symbol when beginning and go into negative numbers, just return to your beginning spot) There are also side-walk spaces that have question-mark (?) symbols. When a player lands on a question-mark, they choose one of their opposing players and have the option of making them pick up either a positive or negative card. This adds depth to each interacting entity/character, because it gives them the option of either helping or hindering a friend doing well or poorly in the game. Consider here, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

In order to win the game, the player must travel around the board once completely, finding themselves at the last building (the auditorium/theater) so they may officially “graduate”.

Explanation of the Cards: include different variables that could be applied to succeeding or failing within ‘Millennial Addition: The Game of College’:

Negative Cards:

-Mono (move backward three spaces)

-Academic dishonesty (move backward two spaces and forgo your turn next round)

-Fail your English test (move backward one space)

-Late fee at the library (move backward one space)

-Student parking ticket (move backward two spaces)

-Written up (move backward three spaces)

-Break a bone and have to wear a cast around campus (move backward four spaces)

-Your refrigerator breaks and all the food your mom brought goes bad (move backward two spaces)

-Your friend gets wasted and you have to spend your night taking care of them (move backward one space)

-A rumor is spread about you (move backward two spaces)

-Your school begins requiring a uniform (move backward one space)

-You fart in the middle of a public space and embarrass yourself (move backward one space)

-You break up with your significant other = endless distraction (move backward two spaces)

Positive Cards:

-Tater tots served in the dining hall (move forward one space)

-You win a student government election (move forward two spaces)

-You’re cast in the new theater production (move forward two spaces)

-Impress your Professor and become friends (move forward one space)

-Break a sports record (move forward two spaces)

-You’re offered a position as a TA (move forward two spaces)

-You get into the Honors program (move forward two spaces)

-You’re granted approval to get off-campus (move forward three spaces)

-You’re granted approval to have a pet live in your dorm room (move forward two spaces)

-Applicable for a work-study position (move forward three spaces)

-Sibling card: increases your financial aid (move forward one space)

-Ace your math midterm (move forward one space)

-Make a new friend (move forward two spaces)


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