Saturday, October 16, 2010

Playing Games

I have not played board games for decades.  I never liked Monopoly.  I figured the name was because the game monopolized the players’ time. Checkers, Chinese Checkers, and Clue intrigued me. Especially Clue because in a sense, it was always my turn. Either I was hunting for clues or hiding clues. I kept great notes about which card I’d shown to whom and if they asked me for the same suspect or weapon twice, I showed them the same card. I hid room cards because those were the most trouble to learn. I enjoyed figuring out the strategies.

Then my life became interesting and games lost their appeal.

My older daughter recommended Settlers of Catan, so I bought it, hoping she might want to play it when she visits with her children.  It hasn’t happened. The game was still in its celophane wrapper when houseguests began arriving.

“You’ve got Settlers of Catan. Let’s play.”

“I don’t know how. The game is still in its wrapper. I haven’t even read the instructions.”

“Oh. It’s a complicated game with lots of strategy. It’s best to play it the first time with somebody who knows all the rules.”

So we unwrapped the box, and unwrapped the cards and punch out the playing pieces.  This game has lots of parts. Even the board is made of parts so it can be different each time you play.
Like Clue, it is always my turn. Whether I throw the dice, or somebody else does, something can happen to my playing pieces. I might get a resource card or lose one, or get blocked by the robber. I have to build roads and cities and plot my defenses.

But the game didn’t matter. The point was that my husband and our houseguest and I sat around a table for about an hour and talked – about anything and everything, and the game was incidental.   

With that as a given, games take on a whole new level.


  1. In my early academic days, a wild Saturday night for Still Here Too and I was to get together with three other young PhD physical scientists and the three significant others who had joined the group to grill, have a few beers, watch marathon broadcast of the old Tom Baker Dr. Who on the local PBS, and play the Avalon Hill Civilization board game. Since the game would often take seven hours or more to finish and the last hour or two it would be down to two or three remaining players, Still Here Too would usually mix up a batch (or two, or ...) of her very famous frozen daiquiris.

    A forth significant other has long since joined the group. We no longer have the stamina to play board games until o-dark thirty, and are scattered to the corners of the country; but we still get together at least once every year. We sit around and talk a lot. But we hardly ever have more than one batch of the frozen daiquiris.

    Is Still Here

  2. 7 hours! You must have a lot to talk about!

  3. We call it discussion :-). Others call it yakking.