No really, where have all the board games gone? Maybe I am old fashioned or just old, but it seems like the world is hating on my family past time of game playing. I think some of the fondest memories from my jaded childhood have come from the nights we would play Monopoly, Risk, Othello, Scrabble, and Parcheesi. There were other family favorites such as Trivial Pursuit, Sorry, and Connect Four. Don’t even get me started on card games.
We went to Walmart for some dinner items and stopped by their toy area to find some games, but these days they are all electronically driven despite being “board games”. Do I really want to play the board game version of Big Bang Theory? I don’t think so. I also don’t want to play Monopoly with a credit card machine. We ended up with Dominoes.
These games of my childhood were very important. It taught friendly competition. In Monopoly we learned how to count money, how to save money for what we wanted and to be crafty about where we decided to expand our empires. In Risk we learned about geography and to some extent military operations and conquest. Scrabble gave us a vocabulary and good spelling. Trivial Pursuit challenged everything we knew from our learning at school and from popular culture. These games were paramount in fun ways to learn great life lessons.
We left Walmart and ventured out to Toys R Us in hopes that they were still keeping the faith alive where board games are concerned. They definitely had more games but most of them were for very small children or contained lights and bells and other mechanical surprises. They only sell Trivial Pursuit as a gambling game now…you have to bet on likely you are to answer a question. They sell Risk for $30 and Axis & Allies for almost $40 and I can see kids these days convincing their parents to use that on a Wii game instead.
I am all for technology and its great advancements. I embrace it every chance I get, but there is something all together special when your family sits around the table and plays a game together. You laugh. You challenge each other. You talk smack and laugh some more. It is hard to imagine my own life without these games. It is hard to get my kid to want to enjoy them with me, but I will keep trying. Tonight we play Dominoes. That’s right, “Dominoes Motherfucker!”