I’m terrible at Risk, which probably has something to do with the fact that I’m terrible at geography. My main problem, though, is that I end up with terrible territories:

Opponent: “I’m sending an army into Irkutsk.”

Me: “Meh. You can have it, Nanook.”

Perhaps I’d do better if I got to defend a place I actually cared about, or could at least locate on a map. The New York Times reports a few Ivy Leaguers apparently felt the same way when they created GoCrossCampus.

Like Risk, the goal in GCC is to recruit and position your armies to take over your opponents’ territory. Unlike Risk, the territory consists of college campuses, or U.S. cities and states, and your armies consist of you and your friends. Working as a team with people within your social network, dormitory, whatever, you coordinate your movements to defeat your rival, as well as develop teamwork, collaboration and leadership skills. You can also nominate commanders, and remove nefarious spies from your ranks.

The game’s creators – a small group of Yale students – designed the game to be compatible with existing social networks, both online and face-to-face. They also play up the game’s small time-commitment – only a few minutes every day.

GoCrossCampus isn’t available to the general public just yet, but the founders plan to expand into high schools, as well as corporate team-building exercises. If you can’t wait that long and you’d like to participate at your school ASAP, you can contact them via the GoCrossCampus website. It’s a good way to bolster school spirit, as well as inject a little energy into your next geography lesson. -BILL FERRIS

Storming the Campuses via the New York Times

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