Side Quest 6: Design analysis of Betrayal at House on the Hill or Mansions of Madness

Due: 2/23

Tag: sq6

Sometime before 2/23, you will need to check out either Mansions of Madness or Betrayal at House on the Hill from the board game lending library. I strongly recommend that you reserve the game for a specific time in advance, so you know when you and your friends show up, you'll be able to play. Information about the two games is below, but they are both supernatural horror board games where you explore a haunted mansion or its environs and attempt to solve an eldritch mystery before you and the other players go insane or are killed.

Each game should take roughly an hour to play, plus some time to set up. I've linked below to information about the games and videos that explain how to play -- it's probably a good idea to watch these in advance to minimize the time setting up, but even so do plan some additional time to figure out what you're doing. Expect either game to require a certain amount of probing in order to figure out how the game world works, the physics of the game.

After playing, write a post on your site in which you reflect on the process and analyze the sorts of decision-making the game encourages. In Everything Bad is Good For You, Steven Johnson argues that video games are very complex nonlinear narratives that make players probe the physics of the game world and make lots of strategic decisions in order to play but that board games don’t require the same sorts of skills from players. Does that hold true in your play of one of these board games? How did you engage in probing and telescoping as you played? How complex was game play

If you play with friends who are also in the class, every student should write their own reflection post. If you play with friends who are not in the class, they obviously are not required to write reflections themselves.

Mansions of Madness

Mansions of Madness is published by Fantasy Flight Games

Entry at Board Game Geek

How to Play Mansions of Madness

Betrayal at House on the Hill

How to Play Betrayal at House on the Hill


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