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broodings from the burrow

January 19, 2011

ten on tuesday: favorite games of childhood
posted by soe 12:48 am

This week’s Ten on Tuesday topic is:

Ten Favorite Games from your Childhood (in no particular order)

  1. Mille Bourne — Mum is not much of a board game player, but she was always up for this French Canadian card game that combines racking up your own numbered kilometer cards with throwing auto-related hazards in the way of your opponents. Oh, and acquiring the four safety cards that grant you immunity to those roadside dangers. There’s nothing like being hit with an “arrête” card and being able to “coup-foúrre” it away. I introduced it to Eri, Rebs, and Rudi at college, but it took until meeting Shelley and Mike in 2001 before I encountered anyone else who’d grown up playing it.
  2. Trivial Pursuit — I am a child of the ’80s and this is our game. Still a favorite at parties.
  3. Tag — We played it at recess and we played it in the upper level of the front yard when we were old enough to be out there. There were a zillion variations, from your standard, garden-variety to freeze tag to tv tag.
  4. Rummy — Eri, Rebs, and I played this for hours in college. That we kept playing it after one memorable night our freshman year when a guy we vaguely knew came over to join us and could not understand the rules, forcing us to play an entire night’s worth of Rummy 500 open-handed gives testament to how much we enjoyed it. It still gets mentioned in emails along with cocoa breaks and comforters and milano cookies and They Might Be Giants.
  5. Monopoly — Perhaps better called Monotony when played the way I prefer it, I’m happiest when you don’t play with houses or hotels. Yes, it does last hours that way. No, no one really likes to play with me.
  6. Scrabble — This game is beloved by Dad and Gramma and Karen and was, for a while after Rudi and I moved in together, the only board game we owned that worked for two people. We’d play, but games would end when Della decided the board looked like a good place to lie down. We stopped keeping score and instead just tried to use up all our tiles as quickly as possible. Note: Most Scrabble enthusiasts do not enjoy playing this way.
  7. Outburst — This was one of the few party games we owned and we’d play it with the Wilcoxes when we got together with them. A precedent of Apples to Apples or Scattergories or Family Feud, your team was given a category and you had to guess the ten items that the game creators had believed best fit within it.
  8. Yahtzee — The only purely dice-based game I really enjoy.
  9. Parsec — My first and favorite computer game, played on the TI, which, for you young whipper snappers, operated by plugging into your tv set. This was a space-based game and I can remember being so proud of breaking … half a million points? … when no one was home to witness my score that I left my family a note strung across the kitchen entry, waiting to garrote the first person in the door with my news.
  10. Hardball! — A two-person baseball game (later featured in The Princess Bride) played with a joystick (I think the other person had to use the keyboard?). Dad and I played quite a bit of this one on our Apple II. I believe pitch selection was what usually made the games last so long. That and my computerized ability to hit the ball was not especially better than my real-life batting average…

How about you? What games did you like to play when you were younger? [King of All Board Games, Grey Kitten, I’m looking your way…]

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