TL: DR What do you consider the "fundamental games" or games that you think everybody should have played to have a good grounding in this thing we call games. My suggestions/starting point noted by the red bar. ---- I was asked by a client a while back if I could teach their kid game design which was one of the more interesting requests I have got. I am not that much of a teacher when it comes to that sort of thing -- whatever high concept technical thing I know I would like to think I could communicate to others and I would also like to believe I could give it a fair shake if it was someone "around 16 or later*". Now there is not much chance anybody coming up through school today will get much computer training worth a damn and certainly nothing along the lines of game design. However I pondered it for a while and it occurred that I could not teach someone to be a chef without them knowing how to cook vegetables, meat, make pastry, make dough.... first, I could not teach filmmaking without people having seen certain films, literature without looking at the works that loom large over it all.... Now everybody plays games but much like the above not everybody has a good grounding in the fundamental games that underpin it all. Having learned a lesson from the awful ways languages are taught I am not so sure going in for the abstract concepts (all games start with conflict), basic mechanics (this is driving, this is ball bounding), high level theory (in this case it would be game theory and mechanism design) is a great idea either however tempting it is for me to consider things as such as I analyse games today. I have considered such a thing in years past and most of the time the result of my considerations came back as "most early arcade games". Such an answer is barely the basis for a proper answer let alone a proper answer, I will use it as a jumping off point though. ------------------------------------------------------ Asteroids. Naturally. Tetris. Do I really need to go into why this is here? Driving game. I am thinking about maybe Micro machines rather than one of the actual early arcade representatives. Whether I want to switch this up for a "race to the horizon" type game I am not sure. Is such a thing all that functionally different to Space Harrier though? That said of all the abstract concepts stuff above I am most afraid of teaching games manufacture from a programming/reverse engineering perspective as I hold it would be a mistake of similar magnitude to graphics vs aesthetics. Some shmup. Probably not bullet hell and if I had to pick one it might well be NES talespin. I also question whether I want to go tower defence or missile command or space invaders. [sentence using the word functionally again]. Bomberman. Leaving my previous function hangups I have to wonder about rampart as compared to bomberman, I am deliberately placing it up against bomberman here rather than the tower defence stuff rampart is usually said to have the precursor to. Qix/Volfied. Breakout. Can anybody really argue against its inclusion. Edit -- this might however be to the exclusion of pong. Something that draws from an unusual place to form levels. Operation: Inner Space, some wardriving based game, doom task manager. A random generator might do in a pinch but I will hold back on that if I can. The Microsoft Entertainment Pack probably rounds much of this out (Chip's challenge, SkiFree and Rodent's revenge... how could I not?). Do I want to break it down further and cover card, board and perhaps even role playing? My main issue is they immediately open up a whole can of worms as it comes to mods, alternative rules, uncomputable concepts, questions of what constitutes a game and more. My issues with the term genre and a lot of gaming might raise their heads here and sending someone out into the world that thinks like me is not a recipe for success so I might have to pull back using some of my pet peeves as a formation for a suggestion and ------------------------------------------------------ *I hate using ages as it is a horrible predictor of ability/level of skill (so many examples from ROM hacking and forums like this), hopefully the meaning comes across though. Still I am not sure a high level discussion of psychology, storytelling, game theory, programming and the logic underpinning it is all that suited to a child of ten or so (unless of course I want to train a conman... tempting). Likewise I am not brilliant at the rewards/milestones stuff that I imagine would be pretty essential here -- without wishing to sound as completely detached as I probably am there has been precious little that has ever motivated me to do anything which is only tempered by my usual question I ask when it comes to the "should I do this?" dilemma being "why not?" rather than "why?" (healthcare is free and room and board is not exactly hard to make happen either meaning the reasons not to tend to be "do I have more guns than law enforcement/the government?", "is it going to terribly negatively affect my social standing/ability to carry on easily?" or "will this seriously impact my health for a period I deem undesirable?").