Boardgame Bulletin 23-3: Taking a bite of Sharks! from The Dietz Foundation on Kickstarter

This blog post will go up online on Feb 3, 2023. That means that the Kickstarter campaign for Sharks! from The Dietz Foundation has 26 more days to go and needs ~$6k to make its funding goal. I already backed it; will you?

Courtesy The Dietz Foundation

If you are a follower of this blog then you probably know that I usually limit my pre-order commentary on games to expectations of delivery or the like. I have taken in a few review/playtest copies and I was part of the publicity on one Kickstarter campaign before. So why am I writing this time?

First, to be clear, I am not getting paid or compensated in any way by Jim Dietz or The Dietz Foundation to write this piece. The Dietz Foundation is not only a publisher I support, but more importantly is an organization with a mission I believe in:

The Dietz Foundation began in July 2018, created by Jim Dietz, with the dream of making a difference in American society by helping teachers learn alternative means of education in the classroom; endowing scholarships at high schools for students going into education; endowing scholarships at the collegiate level for students pursuing teaching certificates; and teaching the general public through the play of games.

The Foundation is managed by Jim Dietz under the supervision of a board of directors including men and women with important past and current expertise for the organization: non-profit organizational leadership, game design, educational pedagogy, social media communication, game industrial manufacturing and sales experience, and educational game design.

The Dietz Foundation, About Us – About the Foundation

I am a father of four. I am also an uncle for several of Mrs. RockyMountainNavy’s students. For our kids and her students we have always…ALWAYS...used boardgames to help teach. Not only educational knowledge but also life skills. Boardgames taught my kids how to play together, how to win, how to lose, and most important how to interact with others. Talk to my kids and they will look you in the eye, not at their screen or off into the distance.

Boardgames are a unique form of learning in that students/players need to Observe the game state, Orient on how they need to play (understand the rules), Decide what they want to do and then Act (manipulate the model, i.e. “play” the game). The most important action they take is to actually manipulate the model—play by the rules—which is far more interactive (teaching?) than any video game or book or movie will ever be.

I could wax poetic about other games the Dietz Foundation has published and how they are great titles. Supercharged! (another family game) proved so popular RMN Jr. bought a second copy to take to college. I find myself bringing 1979: Revolution in Iran back out to the table for another study. Littoral Commander: Indo-Pacific has almost landed and from all that Jim has shared with backers it looks to be everything I expect—and more.

Yeah, I know the Kickstarter campaign page for Sharks! isn’t the most exciting. I hope Jim will unveil more as the timer counts down. Personally, I have seen enough to convince me. Although my kids are grown (and most out of the house) I am still buying this game because I want to sit down at the table and play with Mrs. RMN’s students.

I could write here about the great educational support Sharks! will bring into your home. That’s important, but more important is bringing a game to your table that family and friends, and especially the younger ones, will enjoy.

So please take a look at Sharks! Consider the impact this game will have not only on your home, but the community thanks to the efforts of Jim Dietz and his Foundation.

Feature image courtesy The Dietz Foundation © 2007-2023 by Ian B is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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