Feature Article



Board Games

by Melissa Minners

            As children, we can all remember playing board games with friends and family members.  Growing up, board games were an enjoyable way to pass the time, but they were also an important teaching tool.  They taught you how to follow directions, how to share and take turns, monetary denominations, strategic analysis, memorization skills, competition and more.  These games often taught you how to use your brain – to think about things differently, to use different strategies to puzzle things out.  Board games were essential tools that helped prepare us for life.  As adults, we continue to play board games for recreational purposes and to soothe our competitive spirits.  Although I don’t have an opportunity to play a great many board games nowadays, I do have a few favorites.

            As a child, I liked board games that made you use your head.  This meant that, although I played games like Trouble and Candy Land, I actually enjoyed games that forced you to think a lot more.  Battleship was one favorite – figuring out where to place my ships so my opponent couldn’t sink them while forming a bombing strategy of my own to sink my opponent’s ships.  Concentration was a fun game when I was young.  You matched like game pieces hidden behind point cards – here’s where the memorization skills come in – and receive points for each match.  Removing the matching pieces would eventually reveal parts of a picture puzzle you would then have to solve in order to win.  Perfection and Super Perfection were fun games in which skill, speed and memory were key to solving the puzzle and beating the timer. 

            Always somewhat of a wordsmith, I loved games like Scrabble where you built words with letter tiles and earned points for each word created.  The only catch was that any word you did create had to be linked to another word created previously.  This could get rather hard as the game went on.  Boggle was another favorite in which you find as many words as you can in the letter dice as they appear on a grid before the hourglass runs out.  I love these games to this day.  I also loved games like Monopoly, The Game of Life and Pay Day.  In these games, depending on the decisions you made and the numbers of players involved, the game play was different each time.  Yet another fun game I still love to play is Trivial Pursuit.  There are so many different versions of this game allowing for new varieties of questions.  I’ve played Star Wars Trivial Pursuit, The ‘80’s Trivial Pursuit and more.  In answering each question received, you may learn a thing or two.

            In writing this article, I became interested in learning what board games my friends and acquaintances enjoyed.  So, I decided to ask all of my fellow message board members and email companions to tell me what their favorite board games were and why they loved them so much.  Their answers are featured below.

“I loved Pay Day, because it felt more like real life.  You would go through a month, earn money, make investments, pay bills, get mail...some of which was downright hilarious, and it all led up to your big pay day.  I think there were loans and things of that nature.  It was a complex game.  And I found out it is still being made today, which is awesome. 
Obviously, I loved Monopoly, because people just get so bent out of shape about it.  I remember losing a game and selling all my property to my girlfriend at the time before I went bankrupt and helped her win.  Everyone was so mad, it was like you killed their pet.  I think because the game was so long, people invested so much time into the game, that losing was no longer an option.  It really passed the time away on rainy, boring days. 
Life actually sucked, because while I sort of enjoyed the game to some degree, I thought the fact that they forced you to get a job, forced you to get married...well, it didn't reflect life at all.  I did love it when I landed on every birth square and had to use two cars to get around.  That was fun.  Spinning the wheel as fast as I could with hopes of it rising and smashing everything on the board was also hilarious. 
Trivial Pursuit was fun, because no matter how smart you think you are, there are always questions that will stump you.  Also, it is amazing when you get an answer right you had no idea you knew.  Fun times.” –
Jon Minners 

“My all-time favorite board games are not the obvious ones.  They are Taboo and Cranium.  I love these because they are all about big groups of people and making fools of yourself.  In Taboo you get a word you need to get your team to say, along with a series of words you cannot say to describe it.  You can't mime, you can't point, you just have to find a way to get the right message across.  This is usually most fun when playing with people you know really well, because you can say something, "That thing my boss did at work the other day," or "when I was a kid I wanted to be one of these," and score points.  Also, it gets competitive.  As for Cranium, this game has very nearly made me pee my pants on many occasions.  This is because it is another group game, but to get around you have to choose a variety of types of mini-games.  These games involve spelling puzzles, guessing games about your partner, art projects (such as, draw a picture with your eyes closed, your teammate has to guess what it is), and my favorite, acting games (such as, pretend you're this celebrity or move your teammate around like a puppet until he/she guesses what he/she is doing).  Very much fun for play, especially in large groups.” – Justine Manzano 

“My favorite board game is Risk.  Why do I like it?  Well, who doesn't love the prospect of world domination!?” – Kate Foster

“Unfortunately, we don't do board games too much, at least, not anymore.  The only game I would deem to play would be Rummikub.  I think that's the name, and I don't even know if it's considered a "board" game. It's played with tiles.  Hate Monopoly and Life.  Have done Clue when the kids were younger.  Was interesting until you got the gist of it.” – Helen Minners 

“My favorite game board game is Pop Culture Trivial Pursuit. I like it because I don't know squat about squat, but I always manage to steal the other person's pie piece at the last moment to win the game.” – Ismael Manzano 

“I loved Candy Land as a kid.  I just loved the board and loved the characters, especially Queen Frostine.” Helena Wayne, BOPOnline.com 

“My personal favorite has always been Monopoly in any, and every form. I think it has to do with the concept of slowly taking over a little "world", so to speak. Creating an empire is a joyous thing indeed.
And besides, where else can a thimble be a Harbinger of Doom?
Muahahahahaha....” –
darkphoenix, BOPOnline.com 

Monopoly – it’s fun and you interact a lot with your family and friends.  Never is the same.  Every situation is different.  Never would be a boring game.” – jaguarin, BOPOnline.com 

Monopoly and Life.
These two games have a different outcome every time. In Monopoly, you don't just hop around to the finish line. In Monopoly, you have to make drastic decisions on what to buy and sell and who to buy from and who sell to. There are many extensions like houses, hotels, rent, and it's always fun to sell a property for big bucks even when you don't know how much it will help the opponent. Monopoly takes your mind off things and briefly takes you to a different world of battling realtors, properties, and hopefully riches.” –
Chris McIntosh 

“I personally have three.
Clue...loving mystery and detective novels as I do. I loved the aspect of having to solve the crime and trying to figure out who done it!
Operation....takes a fine hand to get those pesky pieces out and what fun it was to harass your friends into missing lol...
Hungry Hungry Hippos... for the sheer chaos and loud noises that just annoyed the hell outta your parents!!! Always fun to play that game now with kids and is always a priority for Aunty Linda to get when they turn of age!” –
Linda Lafaire 

“I have two:
Balderdash....because some of the definitions are just as out there and wacky as the crap people make up. That game has me laughing the whole ime. I hate it being my turn cuz there is just no WAY i can keep a straight face when it's my family playing. We have to end up giggling through all the definitions.
The second is Pictionary. I can't draw worth beans..along with most of my family. So it makes the game really challenging and hilarious.
Me: "It's a cow!...now it's a cow udder!...Udder yeah!"
Dad: "Time...the real answer was United States."
Sister: "Cow udder? How could you not see that was the US?"
Me: "The US? You call that a pic of the United States? The south looks nothing like that!
Yeah...you all know what I mean lol!” –

Monopoly: it's soo much fun and it really is a gambling game.
Operation: that game just gets me every time.” –
beehearts, BOPOnline.com 

“My personal favorite is Scrabble, the only problem is no one wants to play with me anymore or personally they hate it. So I have a computer version of Scrabble.
Another board game I enjoy playing is Trivial Pursuit - any edition (just not the kiddie one).” –
Rowena Kemp


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