cardboard weapons: All you need is an imagination and a
pile of cardboard!
once said, “To invent, you need a good imagination and a
pile of junk.” That is what the Boxwar fans seem to have
“Boxwars? What are Boxwars?” The average person on the
street is likely to ask and wonder if you have lost all
of your marbles playing one too many games. Maybe you
have just spent way too much time fighting with
Boxwars refers to an adult game of dressing up in battle
gear created out of cardboard and packing tape and doing
fierce battle with all manner of weaponry and armour
constructed out of cardboard as well. There are
apparently no rules, but plenty of imagination and
The first Boxwars were said to be conducted in
Melbourne, Australia in a backyard by five creative and
cardboard-loving young men who soon became obsessed with
the game - and apparently, cardboard boxes. Perhaps they
were environmentalists looking for a new way to recycle.
In the UK, Boxcar aficionados use the tag line 'fight or
be recycled' and gather at a cafe in Edinburgh to fight
with their incredible array of cardboard weapons.
Either way, the game has caught on and spread around the
globe and it does seem to have potential as an outlet
for creative expression, recycling, aggression, exercise
and even science for young people. Science? Yes,
apparently scientific principles are used in both the
creation of cardboard armour and weapons and in the
conducting of battle. Teachers have created lesson plans
modeled on a popular show on the Discovery Channel,
"Junkyard Wars," and some have modified them to using
only cardboard and tape as construction materials.
Using only cardboard weapons in fighting does soften the
blows and levels the playing field of battle as well.
In the United States, in the State of Illinois, some
specific goals and objectives that are used in the
creation of lesson plans around Boxcar wars are these:
STATE GOAL 11: Understand the processes of scientific
inquiry and technological design to investigate
questions, conduct experiments and
Standard B. - Know and apply the concepts, principles,
and processes of technological design.
STATE GOAL 13: Understand the relationships among
science, technology and
society in historical and
Standard B. Know and apply concepts that describe the
interaction between science, technology and society.
standards are augmented by the United States National
Science Education Standards related to the technological
Identify appropriate problems for technological design;
Design a solution or product; Implement a proposed
completed technological designs or products; Communicate
the process of technological design.
This is a great way for kids to have fun learning
design. They also get to release energy, build muscle,
have cardiovascular exercise in the open air, recycle
lots of cardboard, use their minds and bodies in
creative ways, develop social skills, work together as
team, work toward achieving a goal, and learn about the
science of warfare- then go home and tell their parents
they love science.
Jason in the hope that
Boxwars will really, like REALLY catch on.