I have to admit that I’m a bit of a curmudgeon in that I get rather annoyed with all the technology today. Yes, I have a cell phone, but only to make calls and occasionally text—not split the atom and then post pictures of it on my Facebook page from the bathroom of a restaurant I read good things about while browsing the Internet on my phone as I was forced to wait a whole two minutes in the check-out line of a grocery store.
And yes, of course I love the Internet and being able to find anything at any time (for better or for worse.) But it seems people today need either batteries of some sort or a charger to keep occupied (no, not in that way.) And when I read that most teens send and receive around 2,200 texts a month, I almost shit a brick.
Call me old fashioned, but that sounds a bit excessive even to me—the queen of OCD. What happened to genuine creativity and creating fun things to do with our time? Way back when I was little, we didn’t have “apps” for everything. We trudged uphill to school every day with wild mountain lions and rabid pigeons chasing us. But when we came home, we didn’t park it in front of a screen.
We went outside, played some demented form of “school” in which everyone got yelled at or tortured our Barbie’s and G.I. Joe’s with seemingly innocent household appliances and supplies.
And when all else failed, we played board games. I was an only child, so any time I could rope someone with my into playing a game with me—this might or might not have involved seemingly innocent household appliances and supplies—I did.
Now that the holidays are upon us—fa la la—all the toys and games are plastering the shelves once again. While electronic stuff is big, I was delighted to see that many of the classic games I grew up with are still prominent on the shelves.
This list is far from all-inclusive, but here were a few of my favorites in no particular order.
The point was not just to get all four pieces to your “Home;” the point was to obliterate your competitor’s game piece with each “Sorry” dealt. You didn’t gently nudge their game piece off their spot and take their place, but rather launch their game piece across the room.
Side note: This created a separate game of “where the hell did my piece go?”
And as anyone who has played this game can attest, the best thing in the world was drawing a “2” followed by the backwards “4.”
“This game has paydays, marriages, babies, revenge and chance. Spin the wheel to decide where you go next.” Well, anyone who has ever played this game more than once knows that the biggest challenge wasn’t getting a good job and retiring a millionaire, but rather not losing all the little peg people and cars.
And why is there was no square for spending thousands of dollars on therapy, landing a role in a reality show (go back to “start”) or finding a rich sugar daddy with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel?
Perhaps they should update this “Life” thing.
Just look at the expression on that boy’s face and he realizes he has four-in-a-row with a knock-off Checkers piece! Who could not love this basic game? I’ll tell you who, anyone who had to play more than four “tie” games in a row with someone who refused to change their game plan. But all in all, good times.
The point of this game was not to only to remove various body parts and disturbing objects from this morbidly obese patient with bad hair, but also to annoy the crap out of anyone not participating in the game itself.
Each time those tweezers hit the sides of the game, lighting up that nose and launching that irritating buzzer, parents everywhere searched for dull objects of their own to poke into their eyes. Smart parents never replaced the batteries.
“Operation” was a game you could play by yourself, but “Twister” was most certainly a multi-player endeavor. We didn’t play this that often, but I found it much more fun when I got older and “left hand red” was possible only if there wasn’t a beer in it already.
Most of the appeal of this game involved the sound of the Pop-O-Matic and not really the journey around the board. Still, you could send your opponents’ pieces back to the start by landing on them and you could never lose the die.
This detective game involved a bit of thinking, except when it came to the origins of the colored piece’s names—Col. Mustard, Miss Scarlet, Prof. Plum, etc. It was just good ol’ fun involving various weapons and accusations about which of your competitor’s committed a crime, with what and where.
A great game for those who enjoy reasoning and thinking things out, which is possibly why I could never get people to play with me.
Speaking of never getting people to play a game with me…Monopoly. Longest. Game. Ever. This game could seriously take hours and hours, although I don’t really know first-hand that there is an end, as I grew impatient and usually quit before the conclusion.
All I knew was that I loved the Railroads, the banker probably cheated, picking your game piece was of the utmost importance, no one could ever agree on what “Free Parking” entailed and it was ridiculously funny when a boy drew the “You won $10 for second place in a beauty contest” card.
At any rate, my mom did give in and buy me a Game Boy for our trips up north. One of my favorite games? Monopoly, of course.
So even though I appreciate all the innovations and technologies available to me today, I’m glad I grew up when I did. A lot of creativity and fun can come out of a lack of resources when you’re forced to use your imagination and not your iPod.
In an age of constant electronic headlines, messages and updates, it’s good to see these board games are still around. After all, you need something to do when the power goes out, right?
What was your favorite board game when you were younger?
If you had to pick a board game to represent your personality or life, what would it be and why? Risk? Uno? Candy Land?
I don’t quite remember my favorite game off hand…I know Twister was a blast, but being an only child there wasn’t a lot of opportunity to play it. I remember Monopoly, Trouble, and Candy Land throughout my childhood and school. Scrabble kind of appeals to me now, maybe I’ll have to get that out sometime.
I think Perfection would represent my personality because it’s like you try so hard to get all of the pieces to fit just perfectly and then -boom- everything goes downhill and you start all over again trying the same darn thing. 😛
Great answer! I totally forgot about Perfection, as I had that one as well and always freaked out when the damn thing popped up. I do like Scrabble now–maybe it’s a writer/only child thing 😉
My favorite board game… Chutes and Ladders maybe? Now it is this fun game called ** that Bobby bought. You should check it out; I feel like you would enjoy it.
I also shun technology… or I should say, I hate being able to be contacted. I never respond to emails, I disabled text on my phone, and I rarely answer my phone either (unless it is Bobby – I answer sometimes if it is my family as well). I do not use facebook aside from the auto-updates that I installed for my blog (which I think I may remove…). I have to use facebook at work so I get really sick of it. I find all of this technology is not actually making us more in touch but just letting us pretend to be in touch while we become more and more isolated. Maybe.
I actually appreciate your blog updates on Facebook, as then I know when you put up a new post and I can check it out when I have time.
But I agree. I have to Facebook and Twitter for work as well and everyone I work with is connected to their iPhones around the clock. It’s annoying and honestly, kind of rude. No thanks!
*Oops, I meant to look up the name of the game and put it in there – it’s called Munchkin.
Love this post. I love all of your posts, but this one is certainly in your top 10.
I think I’ve told you this before, I dont have internet on my phone and I am somewhat grateful for that. Being chained to the internet and having “apps” for everything takes the joy out of actually living life. I would like it though with me for the gps feature since I hate getting lost.
Ok so on to the games…..
My favorite growing up were monopoly, chutes and ladders, and chinese checkers. I loved battleship but my parents never got it for me!
I’d like to say that the board game that best describes me is “Hungry, Hungry, Hippos” but maybe that me trying to be cheeky. But I’m guessing there has always been a lack of structure to my life so maybe a game like “pictionary” where each game is different. I’d like my life to be a Candyland and my bff’s to be Princess Lolly and Queen Frostine.
Even at the peak of my social life, I’ve never been one for texting. And yes, that makes me very weird for my age 🙂 But I know so many people who are literally never seen without their phone in hand and texting someone. I’ve even asked them what they are always texting for, and they’ve told me they’re just bored, and if they aren’t texting someone they’ll just go through their contacts list and look for someone to talk to. I’m like, ‘pick up a book for goodness sake!’
On to the games! I’m so glad you included Sorry! My grandmother and I use to have full on all night tournaments of Sorry! (I was an only child too. Haha!) But Monopoly has never been my thing. I never understood it and never was interested enough to take the time to learn how to play.
My favorite games were always Life and Clue. I think Life definitely sums up how I approach life. I get so overwhelmed by all of the possbilities that I just keep playing different scenerios over and over again in my hea. I would cheat in Life to get the amount of kids I wanted and the job I wanted. I wish I could do that in my real life.
I, too, get frustrated by technology. I didn’t get my first cell phone until I was a freshman in college. Now 10 year olds have cell phones. It makes me feel so dated and old. But I personally love old fashioned ways of communicated, like letters and talking to a person in real life.
One great thing about the internet? Meeting awesome people like you!
Oy, I totally understand where you’re coming from regarding technology. I don’t have internet on my phone (don’t want it) and rarely go on Facebook. I’ve never followed anyone on Twitter or tweeted (did I really just say tweeted? is that right?).
But board games! How fun! We still play Sorry! and when our families get together for holidays, we play Pictionary, Apples to Apples and have a Euchre tournament. For a while we played Cranium but we seem to be over that one.
Growing up faves include Battleship, Candyland, Chutes and Ladders and Monopoly (although this always ended up in a fight between me and my sister–always).
My favourite board game had to be Clue! I think I would still play it… that is, if I had anyone around to join in with me 😛
I think if I were a game though, I would probably be Twister. I always seem to pick the most difficult pathways to get where I am going, both in the literal and metaphoric sense.
I do love that you brought all this up, because I was thinking something similar after seeing an ad on TV for some new interactive video game for toddlers. How the hell are the generations of today supposed to have any type of imagination when they grow up? I was forced to use my mind to make things fun… and now kids don’t even have to try!
My past and present and future favorite will and always be MONOPOLY! 🙂
Gosh we liked all these, it was just me and my sister so two player games were best. Candyland (I hated that scary liquorice lord) and Chutes and Ladders were our favorites when we were real little, later Trouble and Operation. Monopoly was usually saved for family gatherings or holidays, Clue was for cabin vacations, and Life was a favorite for the parents to play with us. I always chewed the ends off my pegs when I had kids, so they looked shorter. My worst fear was tornado.
I loved Monopoly because I loved to cheat and steal money from the bank. Shh, don’t tell. I also loved Clue…because I just liked the suspense, and I usually always won. I also loved Life, because it’s always fun to mess up my character’s life.
I’ve never played Twister… I’ve always wanted to, but somehow never got the chance to.
I didn’t have my cell phone (and it was a crappy one at that) until I was like a senior in high school, for eff’s sake. I go to Korea and I see 4-year-old with cell phones AND highlights in their hair. This generation is spoiled, and doomed.
Btw, I still don’t have internet on my cell phone. But that needs to change soon.
love this post! i am totally one of those grandmas who don’t want to conform to technology. i don’t even believe in cell phones (it aids to our impatience, imho.) my favorite board game as a child was Clue, now i love all things trivia.:)
Hilarious! I love the spinoff game from Sorry.
It’s my first time to your blog, wow, I’ll be back. I love your writing. 🙂
I agree with you about technology, I like some of it, but we are all so “CONNECTED” that I don’t know how to unplug anymore. It’s a good thing to think about.
I loved all those games too..but where is UNO…Uno is the king of card games, plus you can get revenge on people with a perfectly set DRAW four. LOL
UNO did rock, but I felt I was getting a bit wordy as it was (shock and awe, I know.) DRAW four was the best revenge, almost as good as a SORRY. 😉
You’re, right. Monopoly was the longest game ever. Even then I had the attention span of a knat. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.
Visiting you from TRDC! Love this post. My favorite game from childhood was Yahtzee, but only if my grandma was playing. Otherwise, Pictionary. People come together and forget their grudges and issues when forced to draw things like “celebrate” and “adventure.”
I’m the author of A Wide Line, #52.
I couldn’t agree more… we humans were not made to sit and do nothing for long periods of time.. I quit facebook because it was SUCKING me in the rabbit hole!
That Off The Mark comic is HILARIOUS.
I loved Scrabble, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit and Connect 4. My kids have Operation now, which makes me want to run away. One kid is more dextrous with her fine motor skills than the other. Let’s just say that I can tell whose turn it is from downstairs and other side of the house when they’re playing.
Came from TRDC.
Love the ode to classic games and classic passtimes!
Yes, number of text stats give me the heebyjeebys, too!