Mr. Klein’s new class pushes students to play games

Photo by Manuel Mata-Flores ‘19| Mr. Joe Klein advising Isreal Gracia ’18 on his game that he makes in Brophy Hall 211 on Wedensday Oct. 4, 2017.

By Cooper Parson ’20


Mr. Joe Klein ’86 now gives students the chance to play games during class and not get in trouble with his new History of Games and Gaming class.

This new history elective for seniors is a class that studies games and encourages students to learn and play them.

Mr. Klein said that the idea came from when he was teaching World History, and he would find ways to teach his students games. He said that he thought it would be a good idea to teach a History of Games and Gaming class that ranged from the ancient world to contemporary society.

“What we started with in this particular course was looking at why we play games, and what games we play,” Mr. Klein said.

Students have already made their own version of Shoots and Ladders, presented to the class and gone out to play it with another student. Mr. Klein said the class challenges students to create their own game by the end of the semester.

He said that he will be judging the students games based on the criteria of a German games convention that occurs each year called Spiel de Jahres. Some students, like Joe Hart ’18, even wanted to submit their games to the actual competition.

Mr. Klein says that some future goals for the class would be to have his students go to a retirement community and play some games with the residents.

He said the overall goal of the class is to bring games back into people’s lives. He also wants to teach people where games originated.

One example he gave of game origins was that the game Shoots and Ladders sprouted from the game “Vices and Virtues”. It was a spiritual game that originated in India.

“I have been playing games now for a quite a few years,” Hart said. “I thought it’d be fun to learn more about the history of games and the fundamentals of game mechanics.”