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Saturday, October 24, 2015


Board Games

Board games have been around almost as long as man. They found games in King Tut’s tomb that go back 3,000 years. Most of them had a pair of dice associated with them. Some of the most rudimentary games have no history and, therefore, we don’t know when they were invented. Games such as chess and checkers are still popular even though they haven’s changed in hundreds of years. Chess is a more sophisticated game due to the strategies involved. It is played on the highest levels of international competition with great notoriety being the reward for winning. Checkers is a much more mundane game. It is played by children and old men in country stores throughout the land.

When I was growing up, we didn’t have all the fancy video games that children have now. Board games were the norm. I can remember opening a new game and reading the rules thoroughly. It seems that if you mastered the rules it gave you a decided advantage over some opponent that hadn’t read the rules through and through. Most of the games were quite simple, which was acceptable to our young minds. And most of them involved dice.

One of the favorites in our house was Parcheesi. Long after I had moved out, my mother and father played every night after dinner. It was a matter of my father’s competitive spirit and the fact that my mother never seemed to care whether she won or lost. I think at one time the score was about 10,000 to 4, with my father winning almost all the time. But they were happy and that is all that mattered.

Most parents are familiar with the two most popular games for pre-schoolers – Candyland and Chutes & Ladders. Almost any four year old can handle these two and it teaches them many things that will prove beneficial in their later life. Following the rules in whatever we do is important and the sooner we learn that lesson, the better off we are.

Monopoly has become the most popular game since it was invented in the 1930’s. All the streets are named after streets in Atlantic City. This is a game that can be played by young and old alike.

Some of the newer games are very complicated and require much strategy. Just about the time they came out, the video games took over and you rarely hear of them anymore.

Board games were the only game in town back in the 1950’s and before. They had to be played with at least two people and for that reason, I think the social interaction was better than sitting in a room by yourself.


Anonymous said...

I wish I had saved the Salisbury board game that was devised some years ago.Every point of interest in Sby represented a space,but it was unique because it wasn't just like monopoly or other board games.I hope someone else chimes in who also recalls it.Great post George.

Anonymous said...

Remember Clue? The butler did it in the library with the candlestick.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember Uncle Wiggley?

Thanks George, they were the good ole days, kids in the neighborhood would take turns at each other's house and we would play board games, then have winner run off games. The mom's made homemade lemonade and we had cookies, or fudge, or brownies to snack on. Thanks for the memories.