11 Sep Tacit Knowledge and Thanos Rising Board Game
In the world of education, we use the term “tacit knowledge” to describe the type of understanding someone acquires through experience rather than reading, listening, or some of the other common ways people learn in the classroom. For example, when someone learns how to ride a bike, they learn how to do so by actually riding the bicycle. A teacher could instruct a student for hours about the physics of riding a bicycle and all of the intricacies that make it work, but until that student attempts to ride a bike, they will never truly know how to ride a bike or what it feels like to do so. There is something distinctly different about actually going through the process of physically learning how to complete the task at hand.
I have found throughout my time teaching board games that some players embrace the idea of learning a game tacitly. Instead of wanting every rule thoroughly explained, they want to hop in and get into the meat of the game. Rather than desiring to know all of the details, these players are typically drawn to hopping into the experience of the game as quickly as possible.
While it can be difficult to please everyone at the table, I have found that cooperative games tend to work particularly well for these types of learners. When everyone is working together and at least one person at the table knows all the rules, everyone can start playing the game before all the details and minutiae are fully known. In my entire collection, I have found Thanos Rising board game to be the game that can accomplish this task most easily.
Thanos Rising board game works incredibly well for learning on the go for so many reasons. The theme and table presence make the game incredibly attractive. Most people see the towering Thanos figure in the middle and instantly gain a deep desire to take him down. The theme being from the Marvel cinematic universe makes it easy for players to choose their starting character. Elements like the Infinity Stones are recognized as something to keep away from Thanos as well. Another reason this game works well for diving right in is the mechanic surrounding the dice. Dice can be rolled multiple times, so it feels very reminiscent of Yahtzee, a game most people have played at some point. Lastly, the objectives are clear and easy to understand: Kill the bad guys, don’t let the good guys die, and don’t let Thanos get the Infinity Stones.
Another interesting part about this game in regard to tacit knowledge is how much better a game it is when you are playing it, as opposed to just reading the rules. I read through the rules, thought I had a clear understanding of it, and was not super excited about playing. I thought, “Oh, just a glorified Yahtzee with a pasted-on theme subject to a ton of randomness,” and in some ways I was 100 percent correct and in other ways 100 percent incorrect. Is there a ton of randomness? Yes, absolutely. Is the theme just pasted on? Yeah, I mean . . . kind of? They are making a Star Wars version with Darth Vader in the middle, so I have to imagine this theme is a little bit pasted on. Is it Yahtzee on steroids? Yes, but with cool, custom dice that are super fun to roll. All of that said, though, the game feels so much different when you’re in the thick of it. The battle between you and Thanos seems so insurmountable that victory just tastes so good. Seeing all the Marvel characters flip out one at a time makes the decisions of where to go and who to recruit so difficult. The suspense provided by dice rolls near the end of the game is riveting. Thanos Rising board game is a completely different game when you lean in and experience it!
Thanks for reading and keep on gaming,