German style board games have always intrigued me. Developed in the mid-1970s, these types of board games focus less on luck and more on planning, resource management and group interaction. After reading rave reviews about these games over the years, I finally broke down and bought one a few months ago. Entitled Tikal, the game is named after a Pre Columbian Maya Civilization archaeological site. The game’s central objective is to amass as many points as possible by building temples and gathering treasure tokens. The player that has the most points at the end of the final round wins. Playing Tikal has been fun. There is a significant level of strategy involved within the game that keeps it interesting. Once you figure out the directions to the game, it moves quickly. Because of these qualities, the replay value of Tikal is high.
Considering the amount of time I have spent playing Tikal over the past month and a half, I decided it would be cool to create an online archive of the various components of it. Using omeka, an online exhibit website, I catalogued 15 pieces of the game. For each item that I archived, a picture of the item was taken and data points about the pieces were uploaded. I realized two things as I entered data onto the website. Some data points were objective while others were subjective in nature. Objective data such as an item’s date of origin simply highlighted particular facts about an object. This type of information was not open to examination. Data points that were subjective allowed for a variety of interpretations. Tikal tile cards are indicative of this type of data point. Describing tile cards could be done in a multitude of ways. The physicality of the tile card could be explained. The significance of the tile cards within the game can be addressed. Tactics for tile card placements could be analyzed. Simply put, there are a variety of ways to explain this important game piece. Subjective data points can be manipulated in ways that objective data points cannot be. That said, each type of data point has its advantages and disadvantages. Listed below are a few of them.
• A range of interpretations is available for data points
• Data points are complex
• Distortion of data points are possible
• Simple to understand and easy to grasp concept
• Accuracy of data point is indisputable
• Lacks complexity
For more information on German style board games, click on this linkto go to my website entitled Eliot’s Tikal.