Games Gone By #reflection

Games Gone By

I ran across a posting in one of the numerous gaming groups I follow about how they felt they had slighted their children because their kids had never played the older games that many of us grew up on. Maybe I should preface this a bit. Essentially it boiled down to her kid being at a friends house. The friend had said he enjoyed playing all sorts of games and when he took the kid to the games closet, it had been filled with games like Monopoly and Sorry. Yeah, the older games that most people know already.

And it got me to thinking. I am pretty sure my kids haven’t played a number of those old games. At least they haven’t played them at our house. There are several reasons for why they haven’t played them at our house, but the most basic is, I didn’t really keep many of them around the house to make them available. The basic reasons for this falls the way I grew up around games.

Games Gone ByWhen I was a kid we played stuff like Uno, crazy 8s, and monopoly. And I mean a lot of monopoly. Those experiences are why I won’t even touch any of that any time soon. As kids we played that game pretty cut throat. Monopoly is the source of destroyed friendships. I won’t go there…

It’s funny the experiences we have with games throughout our lives. I think for many people there comes a time when you set aside the games of youth and turn to more “adult” games. Personally, I don’t think I ever reached that point. Some of those older games were also the games of my youth. I can remember sitting around a card table with my parents and playing Scrabble. I remember my mother being very good at the game, but that might also be that I wasn’t old enough with a big enough vocabulary to do well. But that also seems to be a theme for me as well.

I have lost a lot of games throughout my life. We spend so much of our time and energy now dedicated to winning in every aspect of our lives, we tend to forget the importance of losing. There are lessons to be had, chief among them being the ability to lose without taking it personally. Too often now we see the sadness of those who take the loss to such an extreme they lose even more, especially their dignity.

The gaming landscape has changed. Sure we still have the staples of games that have been around for decades, but with the emergence of Dungeons and Dragons and then sometime later, Magic the Gathering, we have seen the number of hobbyist games grow exponentially.

I still have a few of the games I grew up with (in much nicer editions and better shape than I would have left them growing up). These are the games I share with the grand kids. At least on some occasions. Even some of those are a bit too old for them still. Which isn’t always helpful. My oldest grand daughter is reaching an age where she really wants to play some of the games that me and her dad play. But she is still a bit too little to grasp what is going on yet. Sometime in the near future I am going to have my work cut out for me when I begin losing games to the smallest of us.

I guess what I am trying to say with all of this, is it doesn’t seem to matter the way things change. Really, there will be constants in play that you may have left behind, but they are still there and someone else will turn to those even as you have past them. I know, right? That might be too abstract to be profound right now. In simpler terms, the games I knew growing up are still there, even when I move on to other ones. Sometimes those games can have an appeal that hadn’t been considered in a long time. Or maybe I have just blathered without any real direction for a bit here. Either way, grab a kid and play something (even if that kid is you).

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