Rightgames LLC and the Mosaicum project have released an educational board game, Family Tree. Players make up family trees during the game learning russian history and lifestyles of different generations. Family tree inculcates interest to country’s past and own family history in a game form and develops improvisation and counting skills.
How much do we know about our ancestors? Where were they from? What job did they have and what were they fond of? How did they find their partners in life? We rarely think of it in our childhood but it’s getting harder to find the answers by each year passing by. That’s why it is so important to rouse up children’s interest in family history as early as possible. Understanding of generation continuity and forefathers’ connection with historical events is just necessary for the child to grow up as an all-sufficient and self-contained person.
Each player is telling a story of a common Russian family, constructing its genealogy table. The game is based on the character cards with people of different generations on them, born in pre-revolutionary times at the first half of the 20th century towards to people of nowadays. Each character has a name, a profession, a date of birth and a portrait designed in a family picture album style – all these traits combine into a whole appearance of a typical representative of his age and social group, like a soviet scientist or a present-day manager, for example.
Single characters don’t form a tree yet – they should be bound with family relationships. Married couples, children and parents need to be matched by age. It can be calculated in mind but birth dates are added to the cards for more convenience. After all, firstly, husbands and wives should meet each other: play a meeting card and tell a short acquaintance story. Also there are some event cards which can be played at the character, suitable by age – passing through the Great Patriotic war, attendance at Yuri Gagarin’s first space flight start, election to State Duma (Russian Lower chamber). In such a way a personal family history binds with the global history of the country.
There are two varieties of game rules: “The big family tree” and “Dynasties”. The first one better goes with big companies up to 10 players and is suitable for the first play. In this case players construct one big tree, and the one who will be the first in playing all cards from the hand wins the game.
“Dynasties” is a basic and mostly profound game mode comfortable up to 4 players. Each player makes up his own family tree or several at time which can be united during the game. Families of different players can become related with each other. Overall number of relatives, antiquity of the exact family name and participation in historical events influences the victory.