Author Archives: belkows

Gaming and the Greater Good

I think Candy Land would be a cool game to remake with a social justice theme. I enjoy the simplicity of the game. Instead of colors, I would have the spaces be different topics such as race, gender, sexuality, other identities, and more. I would then have corresponding cards. On a player’s turn, they would draw a card and move to the next corresponding space. The goal would be to reach the end of the path to equality and inclusion. The players could use pieces designed to be influential people such as Martin Luther King Jr. Candy Land is known for its art on the board. The board could be redesigned to show images of influential protests and people of different eras. As players progress through the board, they move more from history into modern times. I think this is a cool idea that could be used to teach social justice to younger people. I never knew the term “social justice” until I was in high school. This game could be used to get kids thinking about this concept when they are young. Young people are the future leaders of the world. Social justice is really important. I think it is really important that people are educated about social justice because social justice promotes diversity and inclusion. It is important that all people are treated fairly. I think this game would be a good way to educate children about the history and ideas of social justice!

GOTW – Two Rooms and a Boom

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was unable to play this game. I overcame this obstacle by reading the rules and watching the game be played. This is a really cool game that I would love to play. Players are divided into two teams: one red and one blue. These two teams then separate from each other. Players on each team select cards to figure out who the president and bomber are. One person from the blue team is the president, and one person from the red team is the bomber. In each round, a leader is selected for each team. The leader selects people who will be traded to the other team. Throughout the game, players are constantly being mixed up. At the end of the game, if the bomber is in the same room as the president, the red team wind. If the bomber and president are in separate rooms, the blue team wins. The hardest part of this game seems to be the parts of the game where players are selected to move to the other room. Players know their own roles and know where they should be to win. I imagine it is difficult to manipulate other people. I think this game has some ties to leadership because it involves communication. Communication is a really important skill. Additionally, teamwork is important. Both communication and teamwork are important in this game. People can communicate and work together to influence where people go. I would recommend this game for families, friends, or coworkers. I think this would be a really fun party game. I am sad I did not get to play this game, but I hope I will someday!

Written Game Review – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare & Warzone

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is a really fun game that I play on my Xbox One. Call of Duty is a first-person shooter videogame. There are many different Call of Duty games. This version of Modern Warfare is fairly recent. This game offers many different modes such as campaign, Warzone, and many multiplayer options. 

The campaign is like a story mode. There is a series of events that a player follows. The player has to complete objectives. This is a really fun singleplayer mode. I have not fully played through this mode on this particular game, but I heard it takes around 6 hours to complete the whole story. In this mode, players are able to really practice playing the game and become more experienced.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has many fun multiplayer games, such as capture the flag, free-for-all, team games, and many more. This is a really fun way to play Call of Duty, and I find myself in this area of the game most often. This mode offers a lot of fun and varying games to play. Additionally, players can use a headset to communicate with other players, which makes it really fun. I personally really enjoy this game mode because experience points accumulate very quickly for me in multiplayer. Getting to higher levels helps me unlock new options for customizations of my player, weapons, and more.

One really cool mode in this game is Warzone. I think you may not even need Call of Duty: Modern Warfare to play Warzone. Warzone is a battle royale game mode. In this mode, players parachute onto a ginormous map. A safe zone is established in the shape of a circle in the map. After a few minutes, deadly gas comes in around that circle. This game mechanic forces players to interact. When players drop down into the game, they typically attempt to find new weapons to use. The game does not start you with a great weapon, so it is important to find better things to use. After getting weapons, players hide or move around the map hoping to be the last player standing. Warzone itself also has different modes that allow people to play independently, on a team of three people, or on a team of four people. This game mode is so much fun, and I really enjoy it.

I have been consistently impressed by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. It is greatly apparent that a lot of work went into its production. There are so many game modes that are all well thought out. The graphics could, of course, be improved but are still fantastic. The attention to detail is unbelievable. The map used for Warzone is gigantic. Despite this humongous map, every little thing has details. Additionally, the music and other features in the game are fantastic. It is clear that a lot of effort has been put into the production of this game.

I think the greatest way this game can improve, in my opinion at least, is to further add to the multiplayer game mode. Any player, regardless of their level, can be put into the same multiplayer game. In some cases, a player who is level 1 could be competing against a player who is level 150. This type of situation has happened to me and it puts players at advantages or disadvantages. I would like to see more done with the rank system so that players can select to more frequently play against others of a similar rank.

Overall, this game is phenomenal. I have put so many hours into it because I really do enjoy playing it. For anyone who likes first-person shooter games and Call of Duty games, I really recommend this game!

GOTW – Free Play 2

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been unable to play the games which we were originally supposed to play for EDL290T, at Miami University. For this free play, I played the game Pandemic, which only seems fit considering the current situation. In the game, players work together to eradicate diseases. In the beginning, players are assigned different roles with different abilities that assist them in the game. The board is similar to risk. There are infected pieces on large cities. Players move around the map to remove these pieces. The goal is to remove all pieces. The diseases can spread really quickly, which is the hardest part of the game. It is difficult to stop it. It seems like when you finally start to clear up an area, it comes back or takes over another place. Despite the difficulty, it is still fun. I think the leadership skill of teamwork is present in this game. It is really important in this game and in life that you use different peoples’ strengths to accomplish a common goal. I would recommend this game to anyone. I think it is a great game for families, friends, coworkers, and any group of people. It is a lot of fun to play, and I definitely recommend it.

Choose Your Own Adventure

For the course, EDL290T, I created a Choose Your Own Adventure story. To create the story, I used a free program called Twinery. I don’t really have any experience with any sort of programming, so I had a lot to learn. I created a story about a zombie apocalypse. There are many different endings that involve escape, death, and more. This platform is not allowing me to post my Choose Your Own Adventure here, so please contact me at if you would like to try my story!!!

GOTW – Free Play

Unfortunately, my time at Miami University was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I became very bored in my home and found myself playing many games on my iPhone. One game I really enjoyed during this time was Nonograms. A nonogram is similar to sudoku. The game app Nonograms allows players to play on different sized grids. The sides of the gridded board have numbers indicating which spaces on the grid should be colored in. Players have to work to figure out which parts should be colored in. When a grid is complete, it reveals an image. The hardest part of the game is when there are multiple different moves that can be made, but you do not know which is correct. Sometimes, you have to test things out to see if they will work. The app only allows you to make three mistakes. If you make more than three, you can watch an advertisement for more lives or start over. This makes the game more difficult. I think this game relates to leadership in a few ways. In leadership, it is important to strategize, plan ahead, and think of different outcomes. All of these are present in this game. Players really need to plan ahead and think about the moves they make. Leaders need to do this so they can best support others or their mission. I would recommend this game to anyone. I think this is a really fun game that anyone of any age could play. I really enjoyed this game and recommend it to anyone who is likely for a fun and peaceful game to play!

Leadership’s Like a Game Reflection

Leadership is like a game. Think of a game, any game. I can guarantee that for any game, it possesses opportunities for leadership in some way. Every game has ways that require players to use some kind of leadership trait, even if all a player does a take a simple turn. 

Practically every game involves movement. This is not necessarily physical body movement; this can be moving a piece in a direction or taking turns. Games have momentum. In leadership, it is important to have momentum. For leadership, it is important to have momentum because there needs to be some form of progress. Having progress and momentum helps people move toward achieving a goal.

Teamwork and cooperation are great leadership responsibilities that are present in many games. A game we played in this course, Hanabi, is a great example of how teamwork can be present in games. In Hanabi, players are unable to see their own cards. Players work together and support one another so they can accomplish a common goal. This is how leadership is like a game.

For leadership, there is often a common goal. Many people bring different things to the table. Team members can work together to accomplish a goal. By working together and using each others’ skills, groups of people can better accomplish their goals. For this reason, teamwork is one of the most important and valuable skills in a group, and it is important that leaders recognize the importance of group effort.

Leadership is also like a game in many ways. Leaders need to be able to direct and guide other people. In many games, a person can take a leadership role and help guide themself, their team, or the whole group to success. It is often important that someone steps up to lead others.

Leadership is like a game. A leader is someone who is able to respect others. A leader absorbs input from other people. A leader can guide other people. A leader can communicate. All of these are important things that a leader should be able to do. All of these things can be found in games. For so many reasons, leadership is like a game.

GOTW – Ladies & Gentlemen

Ladies & Gentlemen is a really fun group game that I played in the course, EDL290T, at Miami University. The players in the game are split onto two sides: the ladies and the gentleman. Players select which side they want to be on, and it works best if you have an even number of players. Each player is paired with someone from the other side. The two of them work together to win the game. Although it is one greater game, there are two games being played simultaneously. The players on the gentlemen side flip over tokens attempting to find ones that will bring in the most money. The ladies are unaware of how much money the men are making. While the gentlemen play their game, the ladies go shopping to pick out clothing. After these games, the ladies have to pick something for the gentlemen to buy. This is a really fun game to play, especially since people get very into their character as a lady or a gentleman. I played as a gentleman. The hardest part for me was figuring out how to spend my money as best as I could. I sometimes had to decline purchasing something for my lady so that I could save more money for other things. I think this game relates to leadership because it greatly involves teamwork with a twist. Pairs have to work together without knowing everything about their partner. This encourages people to find alternate ways to communicate. It also encourages people to not just think about themselves. In life, people need to take into account other peoples’ needs to accomplish a common goal. I would recommend this game for a family or friend game night. I think the energy of the game would be great for both of these groups. I really enjoyed this game, and I recommend that you play it!

Original Game – Quartet Kings

Quartet Kings by Justice Hubbard and Sam Belkowitz

Introduction:  Quartet Kings is a 4 player strategy game. Players represent rival gangs/factions. Each player begins with 15 movable pieces. Players can use their pieces to remove other players’ pieces from the game by landing on the same space as them. The game is won when a player has a piece on all four corners or is the last player remaining.

Set Up the Game:  Each player draws a player card from oldest to youngest. Each player takes their assigned color pieces and sets them up based on the diagram below.


  • One game board (12×12 with design)
  • 15 pieces of each color: one labeled 5, two labeled 4, three labeled 3, four labeled 2, and five labeled 1
  • 112 black tiles
  • One six-sided die
  • Four player cards

Basic Rules

  • Take turns clockwise, red goes first
  • Players can only move one piece per turn
  • Pieces move in any direction up to the amount shown on the piece and do not have to move in direct lines
  • Players can remove other players’ pieces from the game by landing on other player’s pieces, movement stops when a piece is removed
  • Players cannot land on black spaces
  • Pieces cannot enter a space occupied by the same color
  • Black tiles cannot be placed on grey spaces
  • Do not place black tiles on the first turn
  • Players cannot use their special ability until they lose a piece

How to take a turn

  1. Use your player card when it says to
  2. Move one piece
  3. Place a black tile on any empty white space

Special Abilities

Red represents fire. Before moving each turn, the red player rolls a die. If the player rolls a 1, 2, or 3, the number rolled equals the burn distance for the turn. After rolling, the player declares which piece is “on fire” for the turn. The piece that is “on fire” is the piece that will be moved. If the piece moves and another player’s piece goes within the burn distance, the other player’s piece is “burnt” and removed from the game. Once the piece burns another piece movement ends and the red player places a black tile. If the player rolls a 4, 5, or 6, no piece is set on fire and the turn is normal. A piece cannot be set on fire in consecutive turns unless there are only 3 or less red pieces remaining in the game.

Dark blue represents water. Dark blue pieces can enter spaces occupied by other dark blue pieces, but cannot land on a space occupied by another dark blue piece.

Light blue represents air. After regular movement, roll the die. If an even number is rolled, divide the number by 2 and move that many additional spaces. If the number rolled is odd, nothing happens.

Green represents earth. At the start of the green player’s turn, the player decides if they will move their own piece or another player’s piece. If the player elects to move their own piece, the turn is regular. Alternatively, the player can instead move any other player’s piece by only space. Green cannot move another player’s piece to a space occupied by green.

Where it started and ended up

This game started as Justice’s idea. It originally only involved pieces moving around on the board, starting in corners, and had the same win conditions. The special abilities were not fully developed yet. Together, we further added to the special abilities, adjusted the game board, added the black tiles, and created a rule book. 

Our Gameplay

After playtesting with friends and family, we have seen smooth gameplay with everyone easily able to understand the basic turn mechanics as well as how to best utilize their powers. One thing we did notice, however, was that Quartet Kings is a slower and strategy-based game, and thus, requires a longer time period to play.

As players were hesitant due to a fear of losing pieces, it took quite a few turns for movement across the board to occur. Players initially began moving pieces defensively and staying near their area. In regard to the placing of the black tiles, we noticed players using them strategically to displace/block opposing players’ pieces.

The special abilities did not get used as much as we hoped. Light blue (move extra spaces) and red (burn other pieces) were excessively used. Dark blue (move through itself) and green (move other players) were not used as much as expected. This led to great advantages for the red and light blue players.

Overall, the people we played with really enjoyed the game. Going forward, more would need to be done so that player abilities are better used and the game is not as long.

Changes to the game 

We want to try/recommend the following changes:

  • 10×10 board with the same design
    • This change would be in an effort to speed up gameplay and movement across the board.
  • In accordance to changing the board size, we would reduce the amount of pieces per player from 15 to 10
  • Adding a labeled grid (similar to battleship) made it easier to know where pieces were being moved to
  • We also are considering the rebalance of powers.
    • Specifically for Green and Dark Blue
    • Green would be able to move other pieces more than originally intended
    • Dark blue could potentially be able to also move through a limited number of black spaces

What we learned about designing a game

Prior to playing the game, we thought we understood how the game would get played. From our gameplay experiences, the strategies used in the game were more defensive than we anticipated. We learned that games do not always get played as intended.

We learned that, while developing and creating a game, we had to come up with solutions to many different gameplay situations, such as creating solutions for potential ties. We had to take into account that unexpected things could happen, so we did our best to create rules that would prevent that from happening.

Leadership in the game

In our gameplay experiences, players learned they could not win on their own. The game utilizes a turn-based mechanic that offers players the ability to either assist or harm each other. Players had to use teamwork to eliminate other players’ pieces. They used each others’ abilities to their advantage.

This game could be used as a leadership resource because it helps people understand the importance of strategy, planning ahead, and working collaboratively and independently.

EDL Game (1).jpg

*Due to limited resources, this used orange instead of black, blue instead of light blue, and purple instead of dark blue

GOTW – Survive: Escape from Atlantis – Belkowitz

During Week 5 of EDL290T, our class played Survive: Escape from Atlantis. Of the games we played in-person, this was probably my favorite game. Atlantis is a well-known city that supposedly sunk into the ocean. In this game, the board is an ocean with land in its four corners. Island tiles are placed in the center of the board and make up an island. Similar to Risk, players take turns placing their pieces throughout the game board. The goal of the game is to get your players from the center island to the land in a corner. As a part of a player’s turn, they remove a piece of the land. Every turn, players have fewer land spaces to move to. There are also creatures with different abilities which makes the game easier or more difficult for players. There are also boats which players can use to help transport their players to land in the corners, instead of slowly swimming. The hardest part of this game was trying to get pieces to the corners. This is a very free-for-all game where all players are out to get each other. Some players were targeted and it was difficult to get around the obstacles created by opponents. I think this relates to leadership because of cooperation, in a way. All players want their pieces to get to land. All players don’t want their opponents pieces to get to land. In my game, people had to learn to cooperate to benefit themselves. In life, people may have different goals, but cooperation can help people get where they want. I would enjoy playing this with my friends and my family. I would suggest people play it with those groups. It is a very fun game which could be used for a game night. I really enjoyed this game and definitely suggest you play it, if you have not.