Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Family game night: AKA Fight Night

We like to play games in our family: Board games and card games have taken over our Wednesday evenings. My son is now old enough to enjoy UNO (he loves skipping people), and Go Fish, and he has long been an expert at Candy Land and Hi-Ho Cherry-O. I love that these games teach him how to take turns and follow the rules and that everyone loses sometimes. As he gets older, I have visions of us playing Clue and Life and popping up some Trouble on the pop-o-matic bubble.

But I don't want to play Monopoly. I don't have fond memories of Monopoly. (And yes, I know that is mostly because we weren't playing by the correct rules and that is why it took forever to play a game.) But even if we do play Monopoly correctly and open up the purchase of properties once the original player declines to buy them, I think that the game still leads to animosity amongst players.

Evidently, I'm not alone. According to an Alabama study, family fighting breaks out in Monopoly more than any other played during the holiday season. Scrabble (hey, that's not a word!) and Trivial Pursuit follow closely on the list of instigators.

Image by dacotahsgirl
So for all our game nights, we try to focus on the fun. For the adults, we try to stick to light-hearted card games: Apples to Apples and Fluxx. For the little ones, we stick with the classics: Chutes and Ladders and Memory.

Don't get me wrong, I'll still play Monopoly with my son, because I think we all deserve to have memories of the classics. But I'm sure I'll eventually encourage him to play a game that focuses less on consumerism and more on fun. 

(Did anyone else play Mall Madness? I loved that game when I was younger, but I realize now that all it taught me was that it was OK to shop without a budget. It probably played a part in the recent financial crisis.)

What was your favorite board game growing up? Tell me in the comments.


  1. I have bad memories of Monopoly also, but for entirely different reasons. We were waaay too nice. The game went on for a week or more. We gave out loans, let people out of jail for good behavior, cut super-good deals so people could stay in the game. Eventually we just ended the game with no winner. I wrote a post about it during the summer. http://wp.me/pNmEF-V0

    Personally, I hate board games with kids because of all the wriggling and giggling and losing focus. Again, the games usually last longer than the children's attention span.

    My favorite game as a kid is a multiple decked card game called Peanuts. It's like solitaire only everyone plays on the center piles. Best for 10 and up.

    1. A week of playing Monopoly? Nope. No way - I couldn't do it!