Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Board Games

My son Mike (manfalling) is celebrating his aquisition of a vintage, secondhand boxed set of Shogun- which is a late twentieth century board game where you get to wage war all over medieval Japan. He and Joe loved it when they were kids. I got pulled in once or twice and found it slow. I guess the real joy is imagining yourself as an ancient Japanese warlord and if that doesn't float your boat there's nothing to hold your interest while your opponents agonise over their moves.

My favourite game from that era was Talisman- which is basically Dungeons and Dragons without the Dungeon Master. Or to put it another way, Dungeons and Dragons for lazy people.

I played Dungeons and Dragons too- but that's another story.

Further back- when I was a kid myself-  the games we played en famille (on winter evenings) were Scrabble and Cluedo. The thing about those two- which locks them in place as classics- is that there's skill involved. I was quite a whizz at Cluedo- good at befoozling the opposition and making deductions from other players' moves.  Games where it's all down to the fall of the dice soon become boring.

Ailz and I bought ourselves a Scrabble set last Christmas and gave it a bashing over the festive season. Perhaps we'll fetch it out again this winter.

There was/is a horrible game called The Game of Life, which is Snakes and Ladders reimagined (though imagination has nothing to do with it) as a turn upon the  middle-class treadmill. Go to university, get a corporate job, have kids, upgrade your house, get wheeled into the crem (only without the bit about the crem). More like the Game Of Not Having A Life, really. How cruel (and borderline sinister) to have kids play at being middle-management when they could be being shoguns or super-sleuths or orc-fighting adventurers. 

Do people (I mean young people- not oldies reliving their youth) still play board games- or has all the action moved into cyberspace?
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