Whatever happened to …

… board games?

A shout out this week to Peter Cameron for the idea.  He didn’t put it on the Padlet so I can’t quote him directly – it came as a quickie direct message while he was playing “Ticket to Ride”.

Growing up, board games were a common event around the Peterson gaming table.  There was Mom, Dad and my younger brother.  Four appears to be the sweet spot for gaming.  Most games seem to be designed for two or four players and divisibility by two allows for even teaming.  It became apparent when we had three kids and someone often had to “sit out”!

I think we had copies of all of the classics.  They were stored in the hallway closet on the way downstairs.  We had the classics…

  • Monopoly (which apparently we always played wrong)
  • Scrabble (we had our own Scrabble dictionary to resolve disputes)
  • Mouse Trap (my earliest recollection of a board game and the trap always seemed to get stuck on the way down)
  • Clue (as in “get a “)
  • 212B Baker Street (who doesn’t like a good mystery)
  • Sorry! (or as my daughter calls is “Soorrr- EEEE”)
  • Chinese Checkers (never understood the name)
  • Checkers (we had real wooden pieces, none of this plastic stuff)
  • Chess (I still own a board with jade pieces)
  • Crokinole (a Perth County invention)
  • and, the one that always gave this snake hater nightmares – Snakes and Ladders – I still have this memory of the gigantic snake that went from near the top of the board all the way to the bottom.  Sure, the snake had a smile on its face but that was only there to lure you into a false sense of security.  We also played a variation when we slid up the snakes and down the ladders … but, I can totally understand the marketing correctness of changing the name of game to Chutes and Ladders.

When it was board game time, everything stopped and we crowded around whatever game was being played.  Mom would always have some sort of treat for us to enjoy while we played.

When it came time to have our own kids, we tried the board games but the classics didn’t have the same appeal.  Yet, we still enjoy getting around the table playing Taboo on family game night.  And, we maintain the tradition by providing treats.

It’s interesting to see how so many of what we would call classic board games have become electronic.  Certainly a favourite of mine is Words with Friends, a modern version of Scrabble.  It has the advantage of being able to play with friends world-wide – Marisa C. kills me all the time.  It also has the disadvantage of changing the rules – you can’t make up your own words and hope to get them past your brother by using them in a sentence like you’re some kind of expert on the topic.  A built in dictionary prevents this.  Hopefully, Scrabble will never make this list.

From my perspective though, the biggest and fondest memory that I do have is sitting around the kitchen table playing with family.  No amount of technology could ever replace that.

Screenshot 2017-12-30 at 16.05.36

Our current games cupboard. (Never mind the table cloths)

How about you?  What are your thoughts of board games?

  • Did you play board games as a child?
  • Do you still play them now?
  • Are there any classic board games that I failed to include?
  • Do modern games have the same appeal as the classics for you?
  • Did you hate the board on Snakes and Ladders as much as me?
  • Can you believe that you can play Snakes and Ladders online?
  • What other games do you see in the picture above?
  • Who wrote the book on the rules of the game?  What’s the name of the book?

Please share your thoughts via comments?  I’d be interested in reading them as I’m sure that others would as well.

All of the posts from the Whatever happened to … series are available here.  And, if you have an idea for a future post, shoot me a DM like Peter did or add it to this padlet.

OTR Links 12/31/2017

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.