Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Game Of Life - 50's style

I don't like new boardgames. There's nothing that bothers me more than when people add "extreme" to something to make it sound more exciting. "Extreme Jenga" is still putting blocks one on top of the other until they all fall. (I was just trying to learn if there is indeed a difference between "Extreme" and regular Jenga when I noticed this :"Jenga, the blockbuster of all stacking games . " Best. Tagline. Ever.

My friends and I played the old school version of the Game of Life the other night. Naturally, we began the evening by looking at ridiculous Youtube videos (I love that this video has 16million views) while drinking domestic beer, so by the time the big game began it was already well into the evening.

I had never played The Game of Life before. And so I imagined that it would be quite similar to the real game of life and by the end of the playing I would be referring to everyone as a "scamp" and viewing anyone who looks slightly different from me with great suspicion.

It was around the time that I was rewarded with 50 new dollars for climbing Mount Everest that I realized this might be the greatest game of all time (besides Guess Who, of course). Though, unfortunately, since the game was invented in the 1950's, it's very sexist. If you pick up a"you had a boy!" card, you're awarded 300 dollars. Whereas if you get a "you had a girl" card, you get sent to marriage counseling. I was sent to marriage counseling 3 times over the course of the game. I suspect my mountaineering exploits affected marriage. My other accomplishments during the game included :

  • Discovering uranium near my house (award 130 dollars) (apparently back then this used to be a positive thing).

  • Discovering an oil well (award 100 dollars).

  • Having 7 children (4 boys and 3 girls).

Not bad for a night's work.

It was just the three of us playing, but i still managed to meticulously avoid victory and so my friend won. Sadly though, she's a girl and so the victory was awarded to my other slightly more masculine male friend, as per 50's sexist Game of Life rules.

I might have to get into board games again. Guess Who is still my favourite. If only for the fact that I invented a new facet to the game called "the desperation question".

This occurs when your opponent has only one piece left standing up and so will obviously win on their next turn. You are allowed to ask your opponent one random question about the person on their card. For example "Where do you think your character buys their clothes?" and then you can guess based on their answer. Rarely do these questions help in leading you to Guess Who victory but they definitely add to the game.

Can somebody help me in bringing old board games back in style?


Allison said...

i have a newer version of The Game of Life - it's not sexist. My mom gave it to me as a graduation gift (ha ha ha so funny)

Agy Talks said...

I have never heard of this game but sounds interesting..


RAY J said...

lol... i used to play Life at my grandparents house all the time back in the 80s... they must have had a 60s or 70s version of it though cuz it wasn't sexist.

Funny you mentioned Guess Who - I was just playing that with my 11 year old cousin last night! I do like the newer version of it though, as it's not a PitA to set up the board and you can switch out the cards to make different variations of the game (like you can do Monsters or Animals, etc to make it harder).

Kate said...

Oh man, I love board games! I have one of those themed Monopoly games - Brewopoly - that's theme is Canadian microbrew beers (there's also an American version). This is very easily modified into a drinking game.

I also found at a rummage sale (for $1!) game that's sort of like Risk but re-enacting the Conquest of New France in 1760. You have to deal with the St. Lawrence freezing or getting troops from Boston up to seige Quebec City. It's so nerdy and so awesome.

ReBekha said...

Excellent. I miss playing Life so much! It is the best.

I played Scrabble on Friday night, and I just purchased Monopoly. Yes, I am that interesting.

Sarah said...

When I get to the city we are having monthly board game nights. You will participate. This is not optional.