Friday, October 15, 2010

The (Almost) Lost Joy of Board Games

On a recent episode of The Vampire Diaries, I was somewhat surprised to see several of the characters playing Pictionary because you don't hear much about people playing board or similar type games anymore. When people get together now, they're more likely to play Guitar Hero than Monopoly or Scattergories. But I love board games and it's a bit sad I don't get to play them very often. So here's an ode to some of my favorites.

1. Monopoly -- This is the first board game I can remember playing, probably because of how much my family and I played it during the horrible winter of 1977-78. It snowed and snowed and snowed that winter. We were out of school almost the entire month of January. So we tried our best to stay warm and played a ton of Monopoly. My younger sister, who was only 3 at the time, would just play with the fake money. For a long time after that winter, I was sick to death of the game. But years later, I started playing again and even have my own National Parks Monopoly game.

2. Trivial Pursuit -- I'll admit it. I was a geeky kid in school. I loved learning, still do. And I've always loved trivia games. I was on my school's academic (quiz bowl) team, so this game is a classic for me. There have been many different versions, but I still have the original, complete with falling-apart box.

3. Clue -- Col Mustard in the library with the candlestick. I've always liked mysteries, so this game was fun. I loved trying to figure out the answers before everyone else.

4. Scattergories -- You have to think fast in this one, trying to match categories with words that start with the same letter.

5. Scrabble -- I'm not the best at this game, often losing to my husband when we play the occasional game, but I still like how it stretches my brain. I love word games.

6. Dominoes -- I never played Dominoes until I met my husband. His family played, and so I learned from them. Another funny memory I have regarding Dominoes is when my husband and I lived in married housing on our university campus while he was in grad school. Our upstairs neighbors were some guys from Barbados, where the game is evidently very popular. They would host some very loud, crazy games of Dominoes up there.

7. Pictionary -- An artist, I am not. But this drawing game has provided a lot of laughs through the years. One year, my RWA chapter even created a version with romance book titles and played it at our chapter retreat. Hilarity ensued.

8. Uno -- Haven't played this card game in years, but I remember liking it when I was young.

9. Yahtzee -- I haven't played this dice game in years either, but it was popular when I was a kid.

10. One of the more recent faves is Perquaky, a word game where you roll dice and try to make up as many words as you can with different amounts of letters in a short amount of time. My friend and fellow author Annie Solomon introduced me to this one, at another chapter retreat. I liked it so much I bought my own game and force my hubby to play it every once in awhile. :)

As the days get shorter and colder, it's a great time to drag out those old board games and rediscover the fun of playing them.

What about you -- are you a fan of board/classic games? If so, what are your favorites? Any special memories attached to certain games or playing board games in general?

59 comments:

Daz said...

I'm going for broke!

Daz said...

Sorry! I know I've been hogging the GR but I think he's just been enjoying the Sydney weather a little too much to part ways with me. I promise I'm not holding him captive! :-)

As to board games, Monopoly is one which I remember playing a great deal of with my cousins growing up. We didn't have many toys or amusements growing up, so having a Monopoly board and a deck of cards was a big deal. The other game I played a fair bit of was Scrabble. In my early twenties, I was introduced to Pictionary and always cheated by being partnered with my then boyfriend who was a graphic artist. Even then, it was filled with hilarity and often ended an evening with a sore throat from too much laughing.

Helen said...

Daz have fun with him although out here in the western suburbs today the wind is blowing at gale force

Trish
I spent many a day and evening playing board games when I was young we played monopoly Yahtzee Uno and my grandparents taught us all to play dominoes at a very young age it was the game that we all played on big family gatherings at my grandparents place and it brings back lots of memories of fun and laughter. When we had our kids they too are big game players of all types of games and they still enjoy playing when they are all here together Uno and Yahtzee seem to be the big ones with my kids.

Have Fun
Helen
BTW I ordered your new book Trish I am waiting for it to arrive and am looking forward to reading it

Anna Campbell said...

Daz, what is your secret? You are clearly the queen of rooster allure!

Trish, what a fun post. And let's play board games some time when we get together. Nobody I know likes them any more and I think they're a great fun way to pass the time. I'm actually a killer Trivial Pursuit player so perhaps we should have a challenge match!

My family was mad on cards and I must say I got very sick of playing cards. Although I learned canasta when I was in the bank and I retain a soft spot for that game. Of course, like the board game, nobody I know likes to play cards either! Sigh. Looks like it's solitaire for me!

Tawny said...

We LOVE board games! Clue and various forms of Harry Potter board games are our current faves but we also do a lot of the Scene It games as well. We used to play Monopoly but it ends up going on so long that I get impatient by the third day and want to quit *g*

Kim in Hawaii said...

Aloha! Our family frequently plays Scrabble. But it stretches out and we begin to grow irritated with each other.

My husband has taught my children to play poker, which involves math skills and strategy assessments. They also play chess together.

I foresee Battleship reemerging when the sci-fi film based on it debuts in 2012, "You sank my battleship!"

Daz said...

Helen, it's pretty nice in the city though a little cloudy. The lunch by the water in Walsh Bay cinched it for him, I think.

Anna, not sure I have a secret. Just on a good run these last few days, is all.

Donna MacMeans said...

Daz - I think that rooster is starting to crow with an accent!

Monopoly is such a classic game. I remember playing with my brothers when I was little, then spending a summer with marathon monopoly games when I was a teen, then playing with my son to help him learn math (without him knowing he was learning math). I've been the banker more times than I can count. Why is it so popular do you think? Maybe the cool playing pieces? They have personality.

I remember playing LIFE and Scrabble. I think I remember when Trivial Pursuits first came out and we played that one quite a bit. I remember playing Sorry! and Candyland (grin).

Fun trip down memory lane, Trish. Thanks for that.

PinkPeony said...

Hi Trish!

Ah, memories of marathon Monopoly games! I was a quiz bowler too and I love Trivial Pursuits. We play Uno and Pit once in a while, and it gets real loud. I always got stuck with the nerdy guy whenever I played Mystery Date.

Someone should come up with a "romance" board game. Everyone starts with an unredeemable hero and with every roll of the dice, you pick up clues to win his heart.
Congrats on the GR, Daz!

barb said...

congratulations Daz... here must like it here and he knows we are going into the warmer weather this side of the world.

We used to play snakes and ladders and ludo when we were young....that may be showing my age LOL and of course cards... my grandad used to show us all different card games... . My kids had a few of the ones you mention and we all played them as a family.

Dianna Love said...

Congrats Daz - I fully expect the GR to come back with that cool accent.

HI Trish -
I loved board games when I was a kid. We didn't have much else going on besides the 3 channels on television. But no one seems to play them any more. I like anything to do with a deck of cards or something with words - Scrabble and whatever that game was where you shook all the letters then dumped them out (bungo...bunko...something like that).

I hadn't thought about that in a while.

Jane said...

Monopoly and Life were my favorites as a kid. Trivial Pursuit and Clue became my favorites in high school. My cousin had Risk, but I never figured out how to play. It always looked like an interesting game to me.

Laurie said...

We play a lot of board games:

Monopoly -my sons like the NFL version, Sequence,
Cranium, Aggravation, Scattegories, Clue, Mall Madness, Mystery Mansion, Checkers, Chess, Rummikub, Pictionary, Life to name a few...

gamistress66 said...

I was thinking recently myself how you don't hear much about board games anymore. I remember playing them often with siblings & friends. When we'd have a family game night with my parents, cards were the game of choice (hearts, spades, 500, poker, etc). When my sisters married and would come home for holidays/visits we discovered UNO and would play that as you could play with a larger number of people. I still have a score card from several years ago where about 8 of us were playing and my brother lost, everyone else had high scores but me -- I had less than 100 :) Best game ever ;)

Gillian Layne said...

I get so antsy when playing many board games--I'm a bad mom! ;) My favorite is Sorry--but quite frankly, my youngest and I make up rules for any game we play. Not good when we play with others, but we love inventing our own rules. Example: 'Roll a six? Run to the kitchen and grab a tootsie roll!'

Christie Kelley said...

I love boardgames. I came from a large family and we played board games all the time. Monopoly was the favorite until Trivial Pursuit came along.

I still buy at least one board game for my family every Christmas. It's good to get the kids away from the Xbox, TV and computers.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Daz, I don't blame the GR for liking the Sydney weather. It's springtime, right?

I'm right there with you with the Monopoly being a big deal. We didn't have a lot when I was growing up either, and I remember my dad pulling that game out of a bag after a trip to town. Big deal.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Helen, those sounds like nice family memories. And thank you for buying my book! :)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Anna, it would be totally fun to play Trivial Pursuit with you. Or, omg, can you imagine the craziness of a Bandita and Bandita Buddies Pictionary game? LOL.

My card playing when I was young was limited to probably what wasn't even a real version of rummy and Go Fish. :) When I got married, we played poker with his family.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Tawny, I've always wanted to play Scene It but never had the opportunity. It looks like fun.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Kim, they're making a movie based on Battleship? LOL. I never played that one, but my husband said he did along with games like Stratego and Axis & Allies (once).

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Oddly enough, Donna, I've never played Life or Sorry.

Monopoly can go on forever, and I've been the banker a lot too. Were you asking about the popularity of the game or being the banker? For the game, I think it's just that virtual feeling of being a real estate tycoon? The thrill of the chase -- for Boardwalk. :) You can tell it continues to be popular because McDonald's is running their Monopoly game again, but I don't eat there enough to get enough pieces.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

PinkPeony, love the idea of the romance board game! That would be a riot.

Someone I know likes to play Pit...oh, I think it was my husband's roommate in college and his family. I heard it can get really loud.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Barb, is snakes and ladders the same as Shoots and Ladders? Not that I played either one. :) I'm not familiar with Ludo.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Dianna, I think a lot of us grew up with three channels on the TV. And the choices were limited. No cable, no TiVo, no Netflix. Oh, the horror! :)

I'm a fan of the word games, and will even play some of the free ones online through Yahoo and Facebook.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Jane, Risk was another one that my husband played but I didn't.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Laurie, oh the classic checkers. I also liked Chinese Checkers.

Funny, but mentioning checkers reminded me that when I was a kid, there were these old, retired guys who would play checkers in the basement of the courthouse in the little town where I grew up. I don't think they do that anymore. Maybe they're all playing online poker. :)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

gamistress66, I can remember there actually being commercials on TV for games and game makers like Parker Brothers and Hasbro. I saw one recently and about fell out of my chair, I was so surprised.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Gillian, LOL on the made up rules, especially the Tootsie Roll one. :)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Christie, I still buy the occasional game too. I'm going to have to have a board game weekend and invite a bunch of friends over.

Minna said...

Well, we used to play Monoply, Uno, Yahtzee, African Star and "Let's Throw Away a Million" (not sure if that was it's name in English).

I just have to mention this: a BEAR had walked on our road! The paw prints were huge and I could see them very clearly thanks to the snow that had fallen last night. He should be asleep by now, but there hasn’t been enough food for bears in the forests this year. I just hope he won’t get it in his head to visit our yard!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Minna, I haven't heard of those last two games you mentioned.

And a bear?! That's cool and scary all at the same time.

MsHellion said...

This blog is SO timely. I'm going to a friend's tonight for a Pampered Chef party, but afterwards, we're playing Pictionary or other board games. *LOL* Usually we watch movies. It's been a long time since we've played games. *LOL*

I have a love-hate with Scattegories. I'm too competitive for my own good. *LOL* So we don't tend to play that one with me.

I do have a Scene It Harry Potter edition--which is not a traditional board game--but I enjoy it a lot. *LOL*

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

MsHellion, the party sounds like fun. Cool kitchen stuff and board games. What's not to like?

Louisa Cornell said...

Daz!! People are starting to talk !!
I don't blame him. Summer in Oz would definitely be a lure for me!

Monopoly is a Thanksgiving and Christmas Day tradition in our family. We play every year after the big meal. There is always one winner and revenge is declared for next year.

I love trivial pursuit and used the American History and Literature versions when I taught high school.

When I was a child my Mom's family played Rook at every family gathering. For those of you who don't know - Rook is a card game, similar to Spades.

People HATE to play Scene It with me as I am a movie addict !

I think playing board games with the Banditas and Buddies would be fantastic.

And someone definitely needs to come up with a Romance Novel Trivial Pursuit game!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Louisa, my parents used to play Rook when they were young, before I was even thought about. :)

I love the idea of a a romance novel Trivial Pursuit too.

Wendy Qualls said...

Trish, I actually HAVE a romance (card) game - I am totally going to bring it to retreat this year! Unfortunately there aren't that many people I can rave to about it, because the overlap between the people who like romance books and the people who play board (or in this case, card) games is not that big :-\

PJ said...

Anna said, Daz, what is your secret? You are clearly the queen of rooster allure!

Snort! "Queen of rooster allure?" Why do I think Daz will let somebody else grab the rooster tomorrow?

PJ said...

Trish, I love board games and still have several in the closet. The munchkins who visit enjoy playing them. I'm not a huge fan of Monopoly but love Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble. I'm really good at Trivial Pursuit, especially in the Sports category. We still play those games a lot. Of course, with little ones about, Sorry! and Candy Land are huge favorites too.

Pissenlit said...

I am SO not a fan of board games but there are a couple of exceptions. I LOVE Scrabble but don't get to play it often since it's only a 4 person game and my group of board game-loving friends is considerably larger. I kind of like Settlers of Catan(though technically, that has a grid of interlocking resource hexagons as opposed to a board) but my friends are crazy about it and it's been overplayed.

I wouldn't call it a special memory but though I like chess, I haven't played since grade school Chess Club where I got knocked out of the tournament due to my opponent not playing fairly. We got to the point where I had checkmate in 2 and he knew it so he kept his finger on one of his pieces without moving it till that club meeting was over and he won because any unfinished games were judged by which player had picked off the most number of their opponent's pieces. After that, I didn't bother with Chess Club anymore and unfortunately, haven't found anyone else to play against(I don't like playing it on the computer). But, I do like the game! :)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Wendy, that card game sounds fun. You should totally bring it to the retreat. I'm sad because, if I have my dates right, I'm going to miss the retreat because I'm going to be in an RWA board meeting.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

PJ, you're good in the sports category? Wow. That's my worst one. And I even like sports.

TerriOsburn said...

I grew up playing cards and board games and now can't find anyone who will play. Since I moved south especially. Is it because you could play outside more of the year so the games weren't necessary?

Clue was my fav growing up, but we played anything and everything. The family still plays euchre (card game) on a regular basis, it's like an addiction.

MsHellion said...

People HATE to play Scene It with me as I am a movie addict !

This is why people will not play with me. *pouts* And the insane competitive thing again.

jo robertson said...

I love games, Trish. Great post.

One of my faves is OUTBURST, but I like any that have to do with words cause it's the only thing I'm really good at LOL.

Daz, you are a rooster-maniac! Go, girl!

catslady said...

Playing board and card games are one of my favorite things to do but, alas, ever since Wii came along it happens less and less. Your last game reminds me of Boggle but no one wants to play with me because I'm pretty good at it lol.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Terri, I think people just have so many other methods of entertainment now -- tons of TV channels, Netflix, DVRs, the Internet, Wii and other gaming systems.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

MsHellion, I admit I'm pretty competitive too. :)

Jo, I don't think I've ever played Outburst. Sounds fun though.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

catslady, another word game fan. Not surprising there are a lot of us here.

Nancy said...

Daz, keep that bird busy! Don't let him con you into taking him sightseeing or, heaven forfend, out to eat. You gotta watch your bar bill when he's around.

Nancy said...

Trish, my grandfather and I played Chinese checkers. I can't see a marble without remembering that.

During the long weeks without power after Hurricane Hugo, the dh and I played many, many games of Pente and Scrabble by candlelight.

Nancy said...

Trish, I liked Yahtzee in high school. No one here wants to play, though.

My grandfather and I used to play Clue, too (goes better with more than two people). I don't like Deluxe Clue, or whatever they call it. I like the kind he and I played together.

We had a word game, too, not Scrabble but one where you drew cards and tried to guess the other person's word. Sort of like Wheel of Fortune without the wheel. Wish I could remember what it was.

The boy had a Pokemon (or maybe it was Digimon) board game, and we used to play Parchesi when he was little.

Sheree said...

Ah, Monopoly... in my family, we kids could never play a games without ending up in a screaming fight. Years later, my niece and young nephew wanted to play the game with me. I kept muttering, "this is not going to end well". Of course, the game ended with the boy screaming and hitting everything with the cover of the game. Some things just don't change. *sigh*

Cards were fine though, as were Clue and even Risk. Just not Monopoly.

Karyn Gerrard said...

I love Silver Screen Trivial Pursuit, I totally rock as I LOVE movies, esp. the classic ones!

Anna Campbell said...

Pissenlit, that's just WRONG!!!

Helly, I'd play with you. I, ahem, have been occasionally accused of being too competitive too. But I can't see the point of playing a game and not trying your best to win. Yeah, I know, I'm talking to the converted here.

Karyn, I adore old movies too. Wouldn't it be fun if we could set up a game of Silver Screen TP?

Nancy said...

Ooh, Karyn, I'd forgotten Trivial Pursuit. What a great game. I'd be the boy is old enough to play it now, too.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Nancy, I think that's when people often drag out the board games -- when they don't have electricity.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Sheree, I had to laugh at your story of history repeating itself. That's some serious Monopoly playing. :)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Karyn, I need to check out that version of Trivial Pursuit as well as some of the others.