Friday, April 22, 2011

Recording games!

On Monday I played some great games of FLex with Ernie and about midway through the first one, I wished we had been recording our experience. We were trying to determine what a good first play looks like, and were testing out playing right smack in the middle. We played 3.5 great games (the last one is on pause in my office until next week's meeting) but took the time to really talk about moves and discuss whether each one looked like a mistake to the other person. Many times we backed up to try another game path. So far, my general feeling is that playing in the middle is a really strong opening move... so you shouldn't do it. With the Pie Rule in place, the second player can choose to take that move from you.

Since Monday, I considered getting a webcam to point at my table to record the games. Then I realized I also want sound (I have an old webcam; does it even work?) so I thought it would be nice to use my phone and upload the videos to YouTube. Unfortunately, I'm not about to hold my phone up for such a long time and I didn't find a stand online that would support it directly above a game board.

So yesterday I got a bit inventive. I brought some wire hangers into the office and spent my lunch (eating and) building this contraption.

(Images courtesy of Patrick Copeland.)

With the wire hangers and some books, I suspended my phone above the game board, then wrangled one of my students into playing a few games with me. We played three games of FLex, one is here, and the end of another is here. The tests went very well and the board is quite visible. I hope to post more videos using this in the future! Many thanks to Patrick for testing this wobbly contraption with me!

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