Game of the Week: Mental Blocks

To begin, I absolutely loved mental blocks. The team work aspect and the challenges that came from styles of communication were a perfect combination for creating a game in which leadership could blossom.

Mental Blocks is, as a said above, a team game. In this game the teams are given blocks of various shapes, sizes, and colors that must be used to solve a visual puzzle. Each person receives a clue as to what the solution is. Sometimes that is an angled view of what the shape looks like, other times it is a flat view of how the colors look and a vague shape. Group members can not share their image with the others but they can do their best to communicate what they are seeing using words and the blocks. This activity does have a time limit so it can be really stressful and without a leader, the group can quickly fall apart. There are also multiple levels of difficulty that can be played, easy or hard, and with or without limitations.

The most challenging thing that I experienced in this game was that I was in a group with far too many leaders. We talked over one another frequently and it was difficult to agree on a possible solution without fully hearing each other. The struggle we experienced in communication did get better as we played a couple more times but learning how to do this was hard, especially since this was only our second class meeting.

As I kind of mentioned earlier, the difficult thing was deciding who was the leader of our group, we needed someone who could listen to each perspective and find ways for us to work together effectively. We also needed a leader who was willing and able to let other people take charge as necessary. This game covers multiple aspects of small group leadership.

FInally, I would like to end this post with a gamer recommendation. I would love to see my brother-in-law and husband play this, I believe that they both have the design concepts and communication skills needed to play but it would be interesting to see who the leader is in a group that includes the both of them.