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CWU student shows passion for board game design at SOURCE

May 19, 2017 GMT

Jason Galletly came up with his first original board game 15 years ago. A little under a year away from graduating from Central Washington University, he’s still at it.

Galletly was one of the many poster presenters this week at CWU’s Symposium of University Research and Creative Expression — otherwise known as SOURCE. Many students end up presenting as part of a class requirement, but Galletly was up there to show off three of his homemade games, and what the process is like to create them.

“My first game was a modification of Monopoly,” Galletly said. “Since then I’ve just been growing and moving on from that point and coming up with my own ideas.”

While attending Central, Galletly used some of the resources that were available to him, like Photoshop and printing services, to start building more legitimate-looking board game components. One piece he showed off to onlookers was printed on the back of a pizza box.

He’s since then graduated to chip board, which is an actual game board material. He’s also been able to recruit friends and fellow students who are graphic designers to give his board games a more professional sheen.

Galletly is constantly researching game design, and what it will take to produce a prototype and manufacture a full game on his own, whether it’s using Kickstarter or another crowdfunding source.

“Part of my journey is to just learn about tons of board games, this is as nerdy as it gets,” he warned the audience. “I do look up board game instructions online just to read through them sometimes.”

Galletly decided to become a part of SOURCE after seeing a poster advertising the event. He had been giving presentations on game design in a communications class, so he already had a lot of the materials and knowledge.

“I thought I’d step back and do a poster,” Galletly said. “Which turned out to be its own journey because I’d never done a poster before.”

Galletly is a supply chain management major in the college of business, but is also interested in college ministry when he graduates next winter.

“I’ve got a lot of different options that are different,” he said, referring to his major, game design or the ministry, “but I have a lot of different skills I can bring into all of that.”

Finding biases in children’s books

One common presentation throughout SOURCE on Thursday was a study on finding biases in children’s books — whether they be with race, gender roles or other stereotypes.

Matt McCloud, a biology teaching major, looked at a range of books, dating back to the 1950s and reaching present day. He said in the early books he saw a lot of what he expected: two white adults, two white children and stereotypical gender roles.

“Sort of like a ’70s sort of sitcom,” McCloud said with a laugh.

As it came closer to current day, he found more books with a diverse main cast, but still found some biases, like keeping the males as farmers and having females as housewives.

“Basically farther back you go the more biases you’re going to find,” he said. “It’s getting better but it’s not perfect, but clearly a lot better.”

Next to him, Jacie McDaniels was presenting on the same topic, but with different books and coming from an elementary education perspective. McDaniels viewed the project through the lens of what barriers can separate students in a classroom. She focused on gender roles, disabilities, language barriers and religion, and how different books can make different students feel more comfortable.

“Since I’ve gone to Central that’s been a big focus,” McDaniels said. “Letting students have the choice of what they want to read, but making sure you have these books in the classroom to help them.”