I have the perfect plan if you ever want to have at least three hours worth of fun at the expense of a bunch of little kids.
Step one: Find a bunch of kids ranging in age from six to ten.
Step two: Teach them how to play Clue but not how to the setup works.
Step three: Suggest they play a game.
Step four: Agree to set it up for them while they wash their hands.
Step five: Deal out the cards without putting any in the little manila envelope that you stick under the board to know who did it.
Step six: Laugh maniacally to yourself.
I love board games. Not as much as I love video games or computer games or even role-playing games, but more than party games or reindeer games so that’s pretty good.
I love almost everything about board games. I love the sound of rolling dice. I love the smell of a brand new board and that sound the make when you unfold it for the first time. I love the instant modibilty that comes with house rules. I even love have to read ten pages of colorful instructions obviously translated from German while five other people stare at you expectantly before you can even get started.
I just have one problem with board games.
I don’t have anyone to play with besides my family.
That sounds way meaner than its suppose to, and yet, somehow, not mean enough.
My family is awesome but we are also competitive and not afraid of a little metagaming. It leads to some weird games.
I’ve answered phone calls after midnight to officiate in rules disputes in games going on in other states. I’ve had to throw games so that we wouldn’t have to play one more because it was 2 AM. I’ve even had to pull a Battleship battleship out of someone’s nose.
We started young. Back when we’d play Go Fish and my brother would lay out his cards face up in front of him and then cry when we’d beat him.
It wasn’t just the kids, my parents started this whole problem by getting married in the first place. My dad will spend 15 minutes on his turn in Scrabble before playing the word “AT”. When playing Settlers of Catan, my mom will tell you you can’t have a brownie unless you agree to trade rock for sheep (and sheep are the worst card ever, trading anything for sheep is the board game equivalent of eating glue). They both would stack the deck so they wouldn’t have to play Candyland for more than five minutes (“Wow son, you won again, well I gotta mow the lawn”).
So yeah, board games to me are nothing more than emotional baggage that you have to shuffle cards for.
And like all good childhood drama, I fully intend to pass this crap on. Next time I’m at the toy store, I’m bringing home Chutes and Ladders so that I can teach my son, the thrill of the ladder, the anguish of the chute and the utter confusion of your father flipping the board in frustration.