Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Whose Got Game?

Stroll through the gaming aisle of any popular electronic and computer store and you will find scores of video games, screens, controllers, adaptors and a host of ancillary equipment sitting happily next to DVD recorders and large screen televisions. Remember when games were on actual cardboard with plastic or wooden pieces and were found only in toy stores?

Of course, they still exist and many a child and adult still play games the old fashioned way. Don’t get me wrong, video games have only increased in sophistication and interactivity, and who can imagine what the next twenty years will bring. However, it set me thinking of some the board games I remember playing as kid. Friends would become obsessed with games such as Monopoly and Risk and we would play them for hours. Set up marathons, break for the night only to return the next day to continue the game. I am sure what we lost in increased hand-eye coordination was made up with some type of social sophistication in having to deal with all of our fellow game-players on a one-to-one basis.

Anyway, besides the popular television game shows like the Price is Right, Jeopardy, and Pyramid which we often played along with television, other popular board games I recall as a kid were the ever popular Twister and Stratego, Parchesi, Scrabble, Risk, Diplomacy, Balderdash, Facts in Five, and Battleship. Who could forget Colonel Mustard in the parlor with a knife in the mystery game Clue, or collecting great art in the game Masterpiece? There were the hours spent with all the variations of Trivial Pursuit and Pictionary, and for the word sophisticates, Scrabble was always a popular choice. Many still exist, although some such as Battleship now have are electronic with “cool” sound effects. Still, chess and checkers will always be popular as is, no matter how they are adapted to technology and who thinks that today anyone could believe that real life would be better simply summed up in the board game Life?

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