Our family was always one that played games together. My parents, my siblings, my in-laws & my friends.
As children we eventually reached an age to play Monopoly. Our attention span couldn’t last, even on long Michigan Winter days. One spent the first hour traveling ‘round and ‘round collecting properties, the next hour trying to trade to a Monopoly and the third hour watching either the Mortgage Dept. or the slumlord slowly crush you.
We watched our older siblings take up Risk and eagerly waited for the age we could finally play to achieve Total World Domination! Too much power was granted for turning in cards, so we placed a limit and enjoyed hours of attacking with die. Once introduced to Axis & Allies, Risk was forgotten. Instead of just ground troops, we could conquer the world with submarines, Bombers and tanks. In college, we began to play Dungeons & Dragons which is such a time-suck, all other games were relegated to being played only rarely.
Along the way, we played other games like Stratego, Life, Battleship, (“You Sunk my Battleship!”) and Masterpiece. I gained appreciation for art in that game.
My maternal grandmother loved Dominoes and Rack-O!
We played Darts, Ping-Pong (primarily Polish), and even shuffleboard--inlaid when dad re-tiled the basement floor.
As Baptists, we were strictly forbidden playing with regular cards. However, Rook was completely acceptable, as it was not of the Devil. (Had four suits, but they were colors, not shapes, and numbers, no king. And no Joker [Satan]. Well…it DID have one (1) odd card, but that was a Bird, so baby Jesus smiled.) [Ah…the counter-culture that is Christianity!] Unfortunately, Rook really was best played with four people, and we always seemed to have too many. Luckily Uno came along, and we lost interest in Rook. Eventually we were introduced to Up-and-Down-the-River and this has been THE game of choice for my paternal family ever since. It has been played at almost every family function for over 30 years.
As we matured, we realized regular playing cards will (probably) not doom us to hell, enabling us to branch out to Hearts, Hand and Foot, Tripoley, and of course the mid-western stand-by--Euchre.
My mother-in-law taught me Cribbage.
As my children have grown, I delight in teaching them games such as these, and picking up new ones such as Five Crowns and Loot. Recently, my daughter’s boyfriend introduced us to Settlers of Catan and we have become hopelessly addicted. Part of the game involves trading with other players. (Like Pit, only without the raucous.)
The first time I played, I picked up this “art of the deal” very quickly. None of this “trade you a wheat card for a sheep card” for me! I was making elaborate side-deals, and contingent clauses and weaseling as much I could get for as little to give. My daughter told me she was playing with her boyfriend’s family when the following exchange occurred after boyfriend’s father made an artful deal.
Daughter: Wow—your dad is starting to deal like my dad.
Boyfriend: NO body trades like your father.
He he he.
We have even developed family legends within our game playing. When you play Tripoley at our house, one particular chair wins. Always. Doesn’t matter who sits in it. Playing Up-and-Down-the-River, if you get the Yellow 6, (a normally innocuous card), it will doom you. My sister always wins at Up-and-Down. Her husband is always last place.
20 or 25 years ago, my brother, my sister and their spouses played a game of Dutch Blitz. We have never heard precisely what happened in that game (just bits and pieces) all we know are two things:
1) They became so angry at my brother they wouldn’t speak to him for hours; and
2) They vowed to never play the game again.
Every time that story comes up, my brother smiles a secret little smile. He enjoyed the game, and did quite well at it, apparently. (I’ve heard part of the reason is that smile.)
For all their technological wonder, and advancing involvement with others, video games do not draw me like a good card game.
What games do (did) you play?