Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Anyone up for a game?

Mary Sullivan

On the weekend, I visited a friend in a rehabilitation facility in which he has too much time to think about his drastically changed living situation. A recent accident has left him without the use of his legs. Unfortunately, it's permanent.

Wanting to cheer him up and keep his mind busy, I brought a travel Scrabble set with me. As it turns out, he didn't want to play. I found out from his wife that he isn't fond of board games. So...we talked instead, which was fine. In fact, we talked for three hours, which was excellent.

I began to think about the demise of board games. They used to be a common pastime, especially for families. I used to play Checkers, Chinese Checkers, Connect 4 and hours and hours of Guess Who? with my family. I would make a big bowl of popcorn, get out a board game and, voila, a cheap night's entertainment for everyone, plus a chance to get us away from individual pursuits for a little communal fun. Later, we graduated to Clue and Monopoly and Scrabble.

You don't seem to see that so much anymore, I think perhaps because kids are off in their own rooms on their computers or texting on their cell phones.

So, I was surprised to hear recently that a young friend was going out one evening to another friend's house for a 'Board Game Night.'

As well, another friend mentioned reading in the paper about a coffee shop that opened in my city that has stacks and stacks of board games. You can go in with friends, purchase your coffee and pastry then play board games to your heart's content. I love it.

Years ago, I adored the huge Trivial Pursuit craze.

Now, I'm hard-pressed to find anyone who will play a board game with me. Am I the only one missing this pastime?

So, are board games still being played regularly? Are they making a comeback?

Do you have a favorite board game? Do you play as much as you used to?


Kate said...

My husband and I still on occasion play a board game together. We have long winters! Our favorite is Boggle. Over the years we've had a lot of people (strangers) stay with us and board games have been invaluable ice breakers. I rule at Chinese checkers!

mary sullivan said...

Kate, I'm glad to hear that someone else enjoys board games, too! I forgot about Boggle. It's a great game.

Anonymous said...

We still play board games. Trouble, Life, Scrabble, Yahtzee and many others. We like games.

Pamela Hearon said...

We don't play board games anymore, but I still enjoy games like Charades and Pictionary that get us up and moving. I got my mom a Chinese Checker game for her birthday. She used to be--and stil is--the champ!
I play video games with my grandsons. When I'm out-of-town, they call me and tell me what's going on on the screen:-)

kris said...

We recently discovered Quelf, which is highly addictive and SUCH fun. Probably best done with good friends and a drink or two in hand, but so worth checking out.

linda s said...

DH doesn't play games so I haven't played much since my kids left hoem. daughter has a closet full and they have friends over for board games every so often. Am trying to teach grandson to play Candyland but he just likes driving his train over the path. lol

Kristina Mathews said...

A game of Pictionary was almost the end of my relationship with my husband. I have a competitive streak that I can usally contain, but not that night. Fortunately, our Big Black Moment was overcome and we've survived coming up on our 20th wedding anniversary.

My kids sometimes play board games. My younger one is more eager to play. We played LIFE not too long ago. And he really liked MONOPOLY, but sometimes we're too tired on a weeknight.

I think kids need to play more board games. I used to work with one Special Ed kid and he would earn a game of CHUTES AND LADDERS as a reward. It was a great game for him to practice having ups and downs (literally) and learn how to control his emotions. It was challenging when two students played each other, each of them with thier own struggles at dealling with "losing" and not being able to reset the game.

Beth Andrews said...

We often had game nights when the kids were little and I still play with my younger daughter (sometimes the older daughter will join in) We love any card game (we played Uno not too long ago) and Bananagrams. We also play Catch Phrase and Apples to Apples at family gatherings.

You've inspired me to incorporate a regular game night for the summer when my son is home from college *g*

Snookie said...

My family used to play monopoly and trouble together. We also used to play card games rummy 500 and black jack, mostly, but also double solitaire when it was only 2 of us. I use to play trivial pursuit with my friends all the time. My husband never played cards or board games and still doesn't really like too. So I haven't played in ages (probably 25 yrs or so). I did try playing scrabble with my son, but he couldn't play for long (couldn't stay still). Now I play words with friends and scrabble on the computer with friends. Not quite the same as having your friends and family with you, but at least it keeps my brain going :)

Rogenna Brewer said...

Loved board games as a kid. Now I don't seem to have time for anything. Darn internet. And Tetris.

Laney4 said...

I play Monopoly with my son (27) and daughter (25) when her boyfriend (30) comes to visit. We often play cards too.

When my sister (69) visits, we play Scrabble, Wizard, Twister (comical with us old fuddy duddies trying to stretch), and again various card games.

We find that "game nights" are VERY entertaining. We aren't glued to the television (although I will admit I record shows to watch later commercial-free) and we enjoy each other's company.

Although not a board game, we enjoy geocaching as well. Forces us to hike all over God's creation, LOL; enjoy the beauty of the earth; and again enjoy each other's company.

mary sullivan said...

It's great to see how many people still enjoy board games.

Pamela, it sounds like you have a great relationship with your grandsons!

Kris, I've never tired Quelf, but definitely will.

Rogenna, LOL re: Tetris. For me, it's Solitaire online--absolutely addictive.

Kristina, the coffee shop I mentioned in the blog is called Snakes and Lattes. Very clever.

Beth, a regular game night would be such fun.

Snookie, I didn't know you could play Scrabble online. Hmmm...

Laney, I've heard of geocaching. It sounds wonderful.

Mary Preston said...

We don't play board games as much as we used to when the children were younger. Monopoly is a favorite though.

Snookie said...

I play scrabble with Sapphire. I'm in Hawai'i, she's in Canada :) I play with other friends scattered throughout the islands too.

Checkers said...

I definitely agree, and think that online games and electronics have sort of killed off the idea of a traditional "board game night", but that doesn't mean you can't play with family!

I recently moved out to go to college but I still play Online Checkers against my mother. We also play Scrabble. So we use technology to play, and we couldn't play in a traditional sense without this new technology, because we're in different locations.

So I take the good with the bad =)

Ron@Checkers said...

Touching story. I agree that the demise of board games is quite sad. It definitely still can, and used to bring families together. but lately less and less families choose to do it. If parents don't enjoy board games with their kids, the kids will never grow up to play this type of game with their families, which is a shame.

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