Thursday, August 23, 2007

We Are Gamers

We play a lot of board games in our house. Sorry was popular a couple of years ago but the kids have moved on (I still love to play). We were on the lookout for a decent version of Life, and thought we had found it in a version from 2000. After playing just once it was apparent that everyone ends up with a lot of money - almost every time you get a Life card you get at least $50,000 - and there are few if any downturns. We also have the Simpsons version from 2004, but that one obviously bears even less resemblance to real life. I read an interesting article about Milton Bradley in the New Yorker recently (you can read a condensed version here) I was especially surprised to read that in the original version of the game there was not only the chance that you would fail miserably at Life, you might even commit suicide!

While Mae and I were thrift shopping in Saginaw last weekend we found the 1960 version, officially endorsed by Art Linkletter (it says so right on the box!). We are having a lot of fun playing this version of the game. The kids enjoy it more too - they seem to recognize that it a more varied version of the game (Mae likes that you can place side bets on the number board, a feature long gone from more modern versions). If you are dirt poor at the end you can bet whatever money you have, or even your car - just place it all on one number on the number board, and spin... if your number comes up you are the Millionaire Tycoon and you win the game, if not you lose and sit out the rest of the game. Of course the directions are printed on the inside of the cover so they can never be lost - another sensible idea that seems to have disappeared.

I'm looking forward to when the kids are a little older to play another of my favorite board games - Scrabble. In the meantime I think we have a few more years of Life, Cadoodle, and Parcheesi.

You can see more of our vintage games here.

Remember this one?


Blaize said...

I never play board games anymore. My sister and I used to play Monopoly, but since she is 2-and-a-half years older than I, she would always win. I am a poor sport, so I would throw the game pieces, and scream and pout.

We did better playing Clue and Masterpiece, but our real successes were playing with our Fisher Price house and castle and safari and barn, and the stuffed toys and costume box Mom provided us with.

There was an interesting thing on the BBC website about English board games in WWII. There are even some photos of the games.

Kerry said...

Thanks for the link Blaize - those were some interesting games. I was a poor sport when I played my friend Ruth in scrabble - she usually beat me and I couldn't stand it! Marc and I played before the kids were born - thankfully we were pretty well matched - go figure :)

Jenn4Him said...

Hello. I am a friend of Tiany. She sent us over to see your wonderful blog this week for Show & Tell. My she is right. You have a lovely place here. I had to comment on your Life game. My DH is of the same opinion as you and found the 1960's version on ebay for $2. At the time I thought he was a little bit nuts. I am now glad that he got it as I threw away the current version of the game as twaddle!