Mathematics, language arts, and social studies are the core subjects of the games. The New Orleans Academic Games League offers competitions in Equations, On-Sets, Propaganda, Presidents and Current Events.
EQUATIONS is the Game of Creative Mathematics. Equations teaches regular mathematics, ranging from the six basic operations (+, -, x, ÷, ^, √) at the beginning to very sophisticated math at the high school levels.
A numerical Goal is set by one player using a few of the cubes rolled. Then, players must form a Solution equal to the Goal from the remainder of the 24 cubes rolled (the Resources). For example, the Goal might be 2^5 (2 to the fifth power, which is 32). A Solution might be: (5×5)+8-1. This would be a simple example, but as players advance in mathematical abilities and grade level, the Goals and Solutions become increasingly complex.
In this game, students learn the mathematics of set theory and basic logic.
One player sets out a number of cards, each with a unique combination of colored dots on their faces. These cards are called the Universe. Another player rolls the cubes and sets a numerical Goal (such as 5). The object of the game is to figure out a way to name a group of the specified number of cards from the Universe.
Students are tasked with recognizing various techniques of persuasion taken from real-life advertisements, political approaches, and everyday human interaction. Players increase their ability to discern the truth from “smokescreens”; they learn to figure out the reality of situations rather than getting duped by the techniques. Players begin to think analytically.
PROPAGANDA is a question and response game. Actual play of the game is simple. A central moderator reads an example of a radio ad, a political speech, a commercial, or a regular conversation; and the player must decide which, if any, technique of propaganda is being used. For example, “I did poorly in algebra, but the teacher was just too hard.” The technique used in this example is Rationalization—making an excuse for a past failure.
Players must have a knowledge of the cultural and political events of the U.S. Presidents. They learn to assimilate all of these different facts into a unified whole for a better understanding of how the United States government has worked in different historical times.
PRESIDENTS is another question and response game, like Propaganda. Players are given a range of Presidents that they may consider for their answer. For each question in a round, a central reader gives a series of three clues about one of the presidents, pausing after each clue. When all three clues have been read, players reveal their answers and wait for the correct answer to be revealed. To master the game, students must study and have a firm grasp of American History and the Presidents of the United States.
While preparing for and playing CURRENT EVENTS, students learn about the major political and cultural events of the most recent calendar year. They become aware of what is happening to them, their country, and their world. The knowledge gained from playing CURRENT EVENTS leads to more informed and responsible future citizens.
CURRENT EVENTS is the most recently formed NOAGL competition. Since the information asked changes from year to year, there are no official study materials. Players are encouraged to visit the their library and to research other sources to prepare for the competition.