Tag Archives: Operation

Boardgames in the News: Biscuit Boardgames at Bake Off

This week on The Great British Bake Off, it was biscuit day.  So, Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith set the remaining eleven bakers the challenge to bake a biscuit-based showstopper with a boardgaming theme that could actually be played.  Now on its eighth series, The Great British Bake Off recently moved from BBC to Channel 4, a change that was accompanied by a rejuvenated presenting team including Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding.

The Great British Bake Off
– Image from Channel4.com

Sadly, the games depicted were all variants on traditional games like Snakes and LaddersCoppit (similar to Ludo), Operation and Chess rather than some of the fantastic modern classic games now available.  Nevertheless, there were some interesting renditions, including from one contestant, Kate, who went for something slightly more modern, basing her creation on Jumanji, the game from the eponymous film.  Stacey was more ambitious deciding to design her own game called “Get to School”, as well as bake it.  There wasn’t time to play test that, but Paul Hollywood did challenge student Liam to a game of Noughts and Crosses played with his compendium of biscuit games.  In the end, the title of Star Baker went to Steven, the Marketer from Hertfordshire, for his “Check Bake Game”, based on Chess.

The Great British Bake Off
– Image from Channel4.com

The episode is available to watch on on demand for another three months.

Boardgames in the News: How to Beat Your Husband at Boardgames

According to an article published in the Medical Journal of Australia’s Christmas issue,1 the trick to beating your husband at boardgames is to play Australian Rock Music.  The study was carried out in May by Daisy Fancourt and co-workers from the Centre for Performance Science at the Royal College of Music and Imperial College London and won the journal’s “Christmas Crackers” competition.  Three-hundred and fifty-two members of the public were randomly chosen to listen to either the sound of an operating theatre, rock music or classical music while using surgical tweezers to remove three of Cavity Sam’s organs from the game Operation.  Researchers recorded the time taken to remove the pieces; the number of mistakes made in performing the surgery, and any perceived distraction.

– Image used with permission of BGG contributor IronMoss

The researchers found that rock music (specifically the Australian AC/DC) impairs the performance of men, but not women when undertaking the “complex surgical procedures”.  It leads to increases in the time taken to operate and a trend towards more surgical mistakes. Classical music, on the other hand, was associated with lower perceived distraction during the game, but this effect was attenuated when factoring in how much people liked the music, with suggestions that only people who particularly liked Mozart found it beneficial.  The authors concluded, “Men are advised not to listen to rock music when either operating or playing board games.”

1 Fancourt, D., Burton, T. M. W. & Wlliamon, A. Med J Aust. (2016), 205(11), 515; doi:10.5694/mja16.01045.