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THE EYES HAVE IT:
The Eyewitness Books Game
Dorling-Kindersley publishes the Eyewitness Book series, a wonderful set of picture (photographic) books on a variety of subjects; from pirates, to whales, to Biblical lands to buildings. Just looking through them made me want to make a game out of them.
The play of this game is perhaps more random and mechanical than many of my other games and is also well-suited, I think, for children (the Eyewitness Books are designed for children, after all.) The enjoyment comes primarily from looking through the books during play. The players try to "cross off" all the icons on their sheets by tracing picture outlines throughout the book.
- A Dorling-Kindersley Eyewitness Book -- Dorling Kindersley publishes many other books with the same photographic look, but it is important for this game to have one of the true "Eyewitness" books. A key feature that is used in the game is the regular pattern of "iconic" images on the inside front and back covers (and their facing pages). Each volume has a different pattern and these are used as the "game board".
All players may use the same volume or each player may use a different volume. In the latter case, you should make sure that each volume has the same number of icons on the inside cover pattern.
- "Overhead" Transparencies (8½ x 11) -- One for each player. Tracing paper also works, and doesn't require the special marking pens.
- Dry-erase markers -- One for each player ( different colours are optional).
- Grid of random numbers 1-64 -- I have created a page of random number grids that you can print out and use.
- The first player circles the first random number on the grid, turns to that page in the Eyewitness Book, and places the transparency sheet over the page.
- The player then picks one of the objects on the page and traces (roughly) the outline onto the transparency sheet with the Dry-erase marker.
- Now place the transparency sheet over the inside cover pattern (the 8½ x 11 sheets just fit) and make an "X" over any of the "icons" that the outline just drawn crosses over. You must be able to see part of the icon on both sides of the outline in order to cross it out.
- The next player takes a turn following the same procedure. If each player has a book, then everyone can play a turn at the same time.
- Continue outlining shapes and crossing out icons on your sheet. Different coloured markers can help distinguish the overlapping shapes on each sheet. If you have several colors, trade markers with the other players each turn. The first player to cross-out all the icons on his transparency sheet wins. Alternatively, you can set a pre-determined number of turns (or rounds if everyone is using the same book), and see who has the most icons crossed out at the end.
Another Game-like Activity
- In this variation, you will want an Eyewitness Book for each player (don't worry about the icons on the inside cover patterns matching in number.)
- Have each player trace 5 random shapes from his book on a transparency sheet.
- Trade books and their associated transparency sheets. Each player tries to find the outlines in the book he has received.
- Identify the shapes found by writing the page number and the title of the accompanying text inside the outline.
- The first one to finish, wins.
- To make it easier, the tracer can identify the page numbers he used at the bottom of the sheet in random order.
Note: Another idea that I haven't had a chance to try yet, is to use a copy machine to print the icon pattern from the book directly onto the transparency. The patterns in the books are white images on grey background. Ideally, the negative image of the patterns would work better (grey icons on a white background), but perhaps the grey background can be copied onto the transparency without becoming opaque. This would allow the player to cross out the icons directly after drawing the outline without having to turn to the back of the book.
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