I can pinpoint the EXACT moment I decided to dislike games. Based on the hit television series, somewhere around the year 2000, Survivor the board game was introduced.
“Ick.” “Yuck.” “Ugh.” “Eww.” Such are the thoughts that run through my brain when someone asks the frightful question, “Wanna play a game?” I despise games.
Surprisingly board games have existed since before Jesus, no seriously. The first board game known to man, akin to our modern dice, was found in a Turkish burial mound from 5000 BC. The next recognizable game, from 2000 BC was similar to Backgammon.
Originally board games were intended solely for adults. Although not technically a board game, hopscotch, the first game intended for children was introduced around 500 BC. Lizzie Magie, one of America’s first board game inventors, created “The Landlord’s Game” in 1903. In 1935 the patent was sold to Parker Brothers, and modern day Monopoly was born.
Parker Brothers had so much success with Monopoly that Sorry, Risk and others soon followed. Mainstream ownership of cell phones and access to social media caused board games to temporarily lose their appeal, however thanks in part to millennials, in the last five years there has been a notable revival. Globally, in 2016, sales of games and puzzles hit $9.6 million!
My family spent many weekends and summers camping, so of course to pass the time roughing it in the wilderness with no television, we entertained ourselves with games of Monopoly and Clue. I don’t recall objecting to family game nights, but somewhere along the way, my attitude towards games drastically changed.
Okay, I’ll spill the beans (get it??). I can pinpoint the EXACT moment I decided to dislike games. Based on the hit television series, somewhere around the year 2000, Survivor the board game was introduced. SOMEONE, no names mentioned, ahem, me, thought it would be a great idea to buy the game as a together Christmas gift for our three children.
Never. Ever. could this naïve, innocent and loving momma have imagined that the children I’d carried next to my heart, endured weight gain, back pain, indigestion, nausea, sleepless nights, and drugless labor for, would heartlessly vote. me. off. the. island. They did. Unapologetically. I don’t even need to pay a shrink to tell me that I haven’t recovered.
This holiday season we attended a “Couples Christmas Party” with a group where the game Bunco is all the rage. These folks get vicious. I don’t get it. I mean, it takes absolutely no skill to roll dice. Whether or not the dice land on “6” is completely up to chance. At one point someone noticing my uber calm demeanor asked, “Are you tired?” “Nope, I just don’t get hyped up over mindless games.”
Over Thanksgiving break we also played Cards Against Humanity and Heads Up, both of which I enjoyed, especially Cards Against Humanity. Although, the game’s description as, “a party game for horrible people” and “as despicable and awkward as you” may speak volumes regarding who I am as a person??
Since I see my mother approximately twice a year, when she asked during the Christmas break, “Want to play a game?” I graciously responded, “Sure.” Of course she chose Rummikub, a game unfamiliar to me. As a highly competitive first born, playing games with my also highly competitive, smarter than me, first born husband and highly competitive, super smart sister in law is not exactly my idea of fun. Plus, no one wants to lose to her mother.
I was already feeling a little grumpy, which only compounded my discomfort and feelings of inadequacy, so when my husband offered his assistance, I responded with a swift punch to his forearm. Then, after a humiliating loss in Rummikub my dear, sweet, mother thought a game of Spoons might be a soothing salve. She was wrong. After my husband accidently pinched my pinky finger when we both grabbed for a spoon, I had to leave the room.
Call me a sore loser, I won’t deny it. Perhaps it’s the truth. However, I think the deeper truth is that losing at a game, in my mind at least, reveals for the world my less than stellar intelligence. Ugh. I prefer to keep my awkwardness and inadequacies under wraps.
I suppose if I want to be part of the battle, oops, excuse me, game night with friends or family, I should work harder to overcome my personal demons. Or maybe, folks will just love me anyways?? #thereisalwayshope
Until Next Time,
Becky J Miller