9 Life Lessons Learned From Childhood Board Games
Even your sweet grandmother will stab you in the back if you’re not paying attention. Losing at Sorry! was my first experience of resentment via something I like to call sarcasm. Are you actually sorry that I was about to win the game but you bumped my final piece all the way back to the starting area? I didn’t think so. Years later, I would discover a raw talent for this form of passive-aggression, especially toward teachers, parents, and law enforcement.
Not everyone can grow up to be an astronaut, movie star, professional athlete, or in the case of Operation, a surgeon. Operation taught me from an early age that I would never make it as a surgeon — mostly because of my less than stellar hand-eye coordination. Looking back, I’m quite grateful for what seemed like a harsh reality at the time. It ended up saving me hundreds of thousands of dollars in school debt and countless nights buried in some medical book studying myocardial infarctions or severe cases of cephalgia.
Taking over the world can be fun! Really though, Risk taught me that taking over the world requires hard work and determination. I can’t say I’m pleased with the ruthless tyrant this game turned me into, but if Andrew Carnegie were alive today, he’d be proud of my “take no prisoners” style of gamesmanship.
Diversity doesn’t matter when you’re solving a murder mystery. WAIT — TIMEOUT! How has this game not been banned yet? Not only does it teach children how to commit a murder with borderline-realistic weapons, it also demonstrates how you can potentially get away with it by narrowly escaping the conservatory via a secret passageway then blaming someone else of another color for the crime.
5. Candy Land
Even if you just followed directions, you’re not guaranteed to succeed in life. There was no strategy involved in Candy Land and you were never required to make choices. Simply follow directions and you may or may not win — now that’s an incredibly motivating outlook if you ask me. Oh, and with locations like Gumdrop Mountains, Molasses Swamp, and Peppermint Forest, it’s no surprise more adolescents in this country are experiencing early onset diabetes.
Monopoly teaches us the value of money — albeit fake money. Naturally, the Gordon Gekko-esque habits of throwing that money in the air and counting those dolla dolla bills was a good fit for me. More importantly, Monopoly taught me about being a slum lord, and the significance of being a friendly slum lord. You see, if you could find a way to ensure people didn’t absolute hate your guts for putting a few houses on St. Charles Place, you had really won the game.
7. Hungry Hippos
If you want something in life, you gotta take it (preferably in the most violent, selfish way possible)!
8. The Game of Life
It says it in the name, so I was contractually obligated to include it. This game was a real glimpse into how the real world supposedly operated though. Plus, your parents didn’t even need to tell you about the birds in the bees. You grow up; you get married and somehow manage to have a van-full of kids. Finally, you retire and apparently the winner is the one with the most money at the end of their life. I’m fairly confident I knew even back then, that is not how life works.
Taught me that girls, in fact, do not have cooties.
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You probably thought I was going to recommend Orange Is The New Black but I’m not.
The middle seat is your domain.
I’ve been in cars with them when they’re full of liquor, seesawing on their feet but steady on the road. Farm boys have a grasp on a steering wheel, they were born holding it.
I desperately wanted to be a cool Gen X-er in the 90’s but there are a few reasons why I’m glad that never happened.