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 Post subject: Children: 3 explanations in one?
Post #1 Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:31 am 
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Guys,

I found myself explaining Go to a 6 yo kid earlier this month, and, just the way things developed, I ended up summarizing two rules (and, very lightly, efficiency) in a single idea: "you're both here to have fun, don't waste your opponent's time."

The rules would be suicide and Ko. It looked like he understood that much better than he was understanding the abstract (which I didn't press; you don't press certain things on children when you see certain body language).

Just sharing in case a) Someone finds I'm way off b) Someone finds it useful.

Take care.

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Post #2 Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:04 am 
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Hi Ferran, Congrats on introducing Go to a 6-year-old. :)
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have fun, don't waste your opponent's time.
Nice...
Quote:
The rules would be suicide and Ko.
Did you connect 'no suicide' with 'having fun' ?
And 'not wasting time' with 'no infinite take-backs' ? :scratch:

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Post #3 Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:22 am 
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EdLee wrote:
Hi Ferran, Congrats on introducing Go to a 6-year-old. :)


He actually "got introduced" during the 2d or 3d game of the Transatlantic, when he saw me watch it. I have to consider it good that almost 6 months later he's still curious. During winter and spring we did some capture-like games two or three times. This August we did something closer to real go. If you're curious, we took turns, and the goal was getting a continuous line from one side of the 13x13 board to the other. [*]

(And, frankly, I'm beyond words that I've managed myself to keep at it for about the same time [a little bit over]; my history with Go tends to be interrupted pretty savagely.)

Quote:
Did you connect 'no suicide' with 'having fun' ? And 'not wasting time' with 'no infinite take-backs' ? :scratch:


Both statements are one. If you waste your time, and your opponent's, you're not having fun. If you play soccer and you keep scoring in your own goal (suicide), the other team will get upset (not as much as your own, but...).

Many of the rules in Go (even handicaps) are predicated on the idea of "having a good game"; in 6-yo terms, fun. An infinite loop is not fun. Suicide is not fun. And our time for Go is limited, so wasting people's fun is not fun. So instead of having several rules (no ko, no suicide, no...) that are, basically, prohibitions (and, apparently, our brain doesn't like those and starts setting barriers up), you set up a single "rule" that fades with the background ("having fun" is not a "rule", it's why I'm here!) and makes the kid think positive (Look at all the fun I'm having!) instead of negative (There are so many things I cannot do! And each has a name!!).

Then, once you have that as a base, you add another level and "Not wasting time - having fun" extends to "move efficiently".

I hope my coffee has kicked in enough for all that to make sense. If not, don't hesitate to ask.

Take care

[*] With Go capture rules, simply starting on one side and adding stones up doesn't work. A bit later, he was getting into capture races and knowing it.

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Post #4 Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:05 am 
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Hi Ferran, thanks for explaining. Good to know you found a way to teach the child.
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An infinite loop is not fun. Suicide is not fun.
Seem to be personal judgement calls, thus, each could go either way;
but again, good this works for you. Enjoy. :)

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Post #5 Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:37 am 
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EdLee wrote:
Seem to be personal judgement calls, thus, each could go either way;


I'm not sure we're talking about it at the same level. Sure, the threat of Ko can be thrilling. Now, however, imagine a "short" game, say the NHK cup. 1 hr - 1.5 hrs of game. Now imagine 45 minutes of back and forth Ko. Pure Ko, no change in the board at all. Would you find that fun? What's more important, here, is: would a child find five hundred repetitions of the exact same two moves fun?

Imagine you're a kid and you're watching friends (or grown ups, for that matter) play. They said it was a fun game, would you like to learn? It goes like this... And 45 minutes of repetition... Would you join?

That's the level I'm targeting. Not the experienced player's (or watcher's) understanding of rules and nuances and social interactions. A 6 yo child who now has a single, positive, rule to remember instead of two prohibitions.

Does that make sense, beyond personal taste?

Take care.

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Post #6 Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:20 pm 
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Quote:
Now imagine 45 minutes of back and forth Ko.
A 6-year-old's attention span is usually less than 45 mins. ? Like, much less ?
Not uncommon to hear parents having to split up a children movie over two or more evenings, because very young children have short attention spans. ( Exceptions are like Sumire. )
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would a child find five hundred repetitions of the exact same two moves fun?
Surely, there are children ( or even adults ) who may find one immediate take-back or two fun; why not ? The ko rule prevents an infinite loop, yes, but it also prevents even one immediate take-back, which some child somewhere may find fun, though not necessarily yours.
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in a single idea: "you're both here to have fun, don't waste your opponent's time."
A 6 yo child who now has a single, positive, rule to remember instead of two prohibitions.
That's not one single idea; it's two: (1) have fun, and (2) don't waste time. They're independent of each other: you can have fun wasting time or not wasting time; and you can waste time having fun or not having fun.

Your two supplements ( not one ), which worked nicely in your case, are ambiguous because they allow this scenario ( among others ): "OK, I'm not going to waste our time with an infinite loop; however, I think one immediate take-back is fun, so I'm going to do it, just once."

Also, "don't waste time" is one prohibition. You try to augment two clear, concise, and time-proven rules ( prohibitions ) with one positive and one prohibition ( both ambiguous ), which is OK, but we should understand both their positive implications and limitations.

Speaking of which, both fun and time management are highly subjective, personal judgment calls: some people find Go tremendously fun and an efficient use of time, while others find Go excruciating ( or boring ) and a complete waste of time.
Quote:
a) Someone finds I'm way off
In your original post, you asked for people's opinion(s), and whether you're "way off".

Here are the pluses I find in this anecdote:

  • Nice you found this technique to help a child ;
  • The statements feel positive ;
  • It's already proven useful in at least one case, yours, so there's no stopping it from being useful in other cases

I didn't think you're way off; I gave you my opinions, and stated that it's good it worked for you.
Take care.

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