HAWKS Run Panzer Kids with Alzheimer’s Patients

Sept. 14, 2017 – Members of the HAWKS (Harford Area Weekly Kriegspielers), a wargaming club from Maryland, recently ran a session of Panzer Kids with Alzheimer’s patients in nearby Pennsylvania. Ed Duffy and Sam Fuson prepared a game specifically to engage the participants in problem solving and decision making, promote motor functions moving tanks and rolling dice, offer an interesting visual display, and give them a chance to try something new.

The HAWKS’ community service doesn’t just stop there; each year they arrange an “Armies for Kids Giveaway” game at Historicon where each young participant gets two full armies to take home, along with battlefield terrain, rulers dice, and rules to encourage their interests in miniature wargaming. The HAWKS also run an annual game day (which recently evolved into two days), Barrage, happening Jan. 19-20, 2018, with games for experienced wargaming grognards as well as newcomers and kids.

We don’t usually think of introducing adventure gaming to the older demographic, but the same strategy of distilling games to basic elements for kids also works when using games to engage the elderly...though still with some adjustments for the specific audience’s needs. Many thanks to Ed, Sam, and the HAWKS for taking the initiative to serve this community through play.