I promise this post is PG! Whatever you’re thinking, this isn’t about that!
Board Games! Yes, I’m referring to the things that come in boxes with instructions and in general require no computer or otherwise high tech device to occupy the time of a group of people. They require individuals to get together in the same place and socialize FACE-to-FACE! Think hard. I’m sure if you do you can recall a pre-tech immersed moment of socializing.
Several years ago when I delved into the world of writing I was ignorant of the existence of the short and flash fiction markets. The only short stories I had ever seen were in my school readers or the occasional anthology of a well known writer’s shorter works. So when I began to socialize with other writers, at first I could not understand they bothered to write short stories for anything other than practice. Then my eyes were opened. A whole world of magazines, e-zines, and anthologies of which my otherwise excellent education failed to inform me existed.
How does this relate to board games?
I’m glad you asked. Prior to dating Soup King, my exposure to games consisted of ones put out by Mattel or Parker Brothers. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, especially since they are geared toward families and often have rules that younger children can master. As an adult, playing “Sorry” more than occasionally can be a wee bit boring.
Back when I was a teenager, I had enough friends in the “geek” crowd to have heard of “Magic”. (In high school I was more nerd by definition. Yes, there is a difference, but I’ve unleashed my inner geek in recent years.) It sounded intriguing, but 1) I had no money to purchase cards, and 2)from my friend’s description it sounded time consuming. So, I didn’t bother requesting someone teach me. I was busy with my gazillion clubs and insane load of AP classes.
Fast forward a few years. My children collect Pokemon and Yu-gi-oh cards, but to say they play is a bit of a stretch. They play, but the rules are basically made up on the fly and changed to ensure Mr. Smarty-pant’s winning streak. Then Soup King takes me to his apartment one day and there are stacks of boxes, all board games of different types. These are more esoteric games, with books for rules in some cases, and despite “board” being in the classification, there isn’t always a board involved. He introduces me to “Dominion” and I like it. Several others follow and I’m excited! It’s a whole new world of couple and family fun! There’s a whole world of games out there from simple dice throwing monster games to complex historical battle re-enactments.
Mr. Smarty-pants attempts to cheat with the regularity of a used-car salesmen. Miss Diva falls for his snake-oil pitches as often as a naive first-time car buyer. Miss Drama, for the most part, is not old enough to play most of the games, which is why I’ve recently acquired some very simple games that she can play. A highlyimportant skill, in my opinion, is teaching children to lose as gracefully as they win, and it isn’t a skill that is learned overnight. Playing fairly and by the rules is also important, and one which all three of them are still learning. Truth be told, I think Miss Drama is a better loser than Mr. Smarty-Pants. As long as she’s given the chance to win once at something she’s happy, as opposed to Mr. Smarty-Pants who’d rather win all of the time.