So there’s a Kickstarter project closing today which has me wondering about mathematics potential.
The concept here is to have games suited for different settings that can be described in only a few sentences.
Could one make an all-mathematics variant — mathematical scrimmages, so to speak? The only games I could think of offhand in the same spirit as Tiny Games were some Nim variants and Fizz-buzz.
1-2 Nim (for two players): Start with a row of coins. Alternate turns with your opponent. On your turn you can take either 1 or 2 of the coins. The person who takes the last coin wins.
Fizz-buzz (for a group): Players pick an order. The first player says the number “1″, and then the players count in turn. Numbers divisible by 3 should be replaced by “fizz”. Numbers divisible by 5 should be replaced by “buzz”. Numbers divisible by both should be replaced by “fizz-buzz”. Players who make a mistake are out. Last one in wins the game.
Anyone have some more?
EXTRA NOTE: One condition I’d add is the games need to work as games and not as glorified practice. “Challenge a friend to factor a quadratic you made” meets the “Tiny” but not the “Game” requirement.
EXTRA EXTRA NOTE: Dan Meyer asks “Aside from the counterexample that follows, what are the qualities that make Fizz-Buzz and Nim gamelike and not, say, exerciselike?” In both cases the games incidentally have some mathematics in them and are the sorts of games one might play even outside of a mathematics classroom. Even though Wikipedia claims Fizz-buzz was invented for children to “teach them about division” (?), my first encounter was from The World’s Best Party Games. (This still doesn’t totally answer the question, I know. A related question is: what is the difference between a puzzle and a math problem?)