Friday, May 27, 2011
Board games are dead now, aren’t they? Not that I mourn their passing. Board games gave us distorted values and unrealistic expectations; they led many of us to believe that life would be easy.
Board games fell into two categories: games of chance and games of strategy, but the skill set for either was surprisingly similar.
Almost all games of chance had a bank of some sort. Every bank needs a banker, and that would be me. And I learned that bankers not only make their own change, they can make their own rules and make their own math when they make their own change.
When playing games of skill -- cards, checkers, and chess -- I found a direct correlation between success and the number of times one could get one’s opponent to leave the room. “Can I have a coke, Linda?” rarely failed, and “Where does your mother keep the Oreos.”
In the event there were more than two players – Scrabble springs to mind – one had to employ multiple strategies, all of them hinging on the power to distract. Pets proved a willing accompliss. “Puffy, go get the Oreo. Wow, look at him go!”
They say all higher mammals play childhood games. Through play, we learn lessons in survival and psychology that we’ll carry throughout life. Such as, “If you have a good vocabulary but a tray full of vowels, go get a Q,” and “Make your own luck.”