The Games We Played

Growing up in the 70’s & 8o’s we always had one cupboard stuffed with board games. Piled up boxes splitting at the corners and bulging at the seams because the components had been hurriedly shoved inside at the close of the previous encounter. There was no replicating that first fresh glimpse of a new board game… everything sitting pristinely in its own compartment… obediently claiming a space.

The plastic playing pieces separated from the dice next to the the cards immaculately ordered with satisfying straight edges next to the board folded perfectly at the crease sitting neatly on top of the marbles or the straws or the money arranged by amount and colour or the spinner with the arrow still firmly intact.

After that very first ‘opening’ inevitable packaging chaos ensued. It didn’t matter how hard you tried… things would never fit back into that box in quite the same way ever again.

But that was all part of the fun.

Little did I know that the many hours wiled away playing those games were prepping me for my uncertain future as an adult.

TWISTER – awkward entanglements.

MONOPLOY- property dilemmas (should we or shouldn’t we?) and the terrifying white envelopes containing those first bills (Really? I have NO money in the bank? Didn’t I just pass GO??)

CLUEDO (CLUE in the USA) – the toxicity of gossip and the constant speculation about the lives of others, “Do you really think Miss Scarlet did it in the kitchen with the led pipe? Just last week we were hanging out in the library with Professor Plum and she was going on and on about the candlestick. Who knew?!”

OPERATION – the confirmation of my lack of hand/eye co-ordination and my leaning towards psychotherapy. All I really wanted was to ask that poor, naked guy, “So tell me, how do you feel about this relentless bodily intrusion?”

MASTERMIND –  how to communicate with people who like to keep things hidden.

FRUSTRATION (TROUBLE in the USA) – the reminder that  life is just one great big pop-o-matic dome and you can waste forever wishing for a 6. Even so… your only choice is to keep on popping.

CONNECT FOUR – the satisfaction when things fall into place.

And finally KER PLUNK – my most beloved game. Ker Plunk taught me that sometimes you just have to take a risk. Pull that straw. Hold your breath.

And wait to hear the marbles…

What memories do you have of board games you played as a child? Write for ten minutes. Roll the dice and see what arrives… share in the comments!


4 Responses to “The Games We Played”

  1. breakfastandotherstories
    April 16, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    Does anyone remember Capital Adventure? I think it may have been a short-lived board game, because it's since disappeared without trace; a cross between Trivial Pursuit and Monopoly, a game where you go all over the world as a pair and answer questions (the more outlandish and random the better). It encouraged pairwork – I remember being put with someone I was shy of, but by the end we were high-fiving and conspiring with ease. It went on long into the night. It was summer and we sat outside. There were chocolates. There was no TV, no music, no phones, just the loud guffaws and whispers of teenagers having a ball. Would this ever happen now I wonder?

  2. Rory Green
    April 17, 2012 at 1:12 am #

    I'm there with you! I don't recall the game but your vivid description leaves me feeling like I do. Your words capture an atmosphere we can all relate to… If this doesn't happen now…just think what they are missing?

  3. Erin
    April 17, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    Ha, I love this! I played Mastermind with my siblings. I also played Monopoly. Our favorite, though, was Life. We made up all these amendments to bypass the squares and rules we didn't like. Too bad real life doesn't work that way!

  4. Rory Green
    April 18, 2012 at 4:03 am #

    Hi Erin! I never played 'Life'… perhaps there's no time like the present to play?! I'm pretty good at rewriting the rules! Thanks for sharing…

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