Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Board Games...Remember Them?

Over the past few years I have tried several online games. I find them relaxing and addicting. I’m not sure if the addiction is to the games themselves or the de-stressing factor they have on me. When I am playing, I concentrate so much on the game I forget whatever is causing me stress. I’m sure it has the same affect on many and that’s why it’s so hard to stop. Right now I am hooked on Bubble Witch Saga and stuck at level 55. I suppose if I don’t succeed in passing that level, at some point my frustration will cause me to give it up. But, remember the old board games?

I woke up thinking about board games today, for no special reason. I was thinking of how some of them kind of prepared us for life. The game Life was one of my favorites. You could go around the whole board getting an education, a job, a spouse, kids. Adding kids was my favorite part. You could live a while lifetime in one game and I think it taught us a few things we would have to face in the future. Another of my favorites was Scrabble. I loved word games and I have a knack of being able to look at random letters and see words just out at me. It makes me great at the Jumble in the newspaper. Sometimes I get the answer without figuring out all the words. I got so good at playing Scrabble that eventually no one would play with me. And who could forget Monopoly? All that nice colored money and real estate! Houses and hotels, railroads, rent, the old community chest, jail, and the bank! It was great being the bank! Playing that game makes everyone feel a little like Donald Trump. Other games like Password, Trivial Pursuit, Concentration, Clue were also among the games I enjoyed playing. I wonder how many kids play those games today? There’s probably an online version of all of them, but it’s just not the same.

Board games were great for more reasons than one. They not only taught us a few things about life in general, but they brought people together to interact. Whether for a family game night or to play with friends, these games gave us an opportunity for social interactions. Maybe they weren’t as calming as online games. I’ve seen many a fight break out when someone had to pay rent and was out of money; or someone got nothing but vowels and could make any words, but there was also plenty of conversation and fun.

Even games designed for very young children, like Candy Land, teach turn taking and social skills. I got them for my kids before they even started school. It help them to learn how to be more gracious losers too as we taught them games are not really about who wins, but about having fun playing them. Over the years we have collected a ton of games and have gotten many a laugh out of them.

Maybe it’s time to dust off a few game boxes and bring them out again? It could be great fun to make a night of it with some special snacks. I think I will try to plan a family game night soon. It’ll be fin, especially if I win!

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