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BEATEN, BUT UNBOWED
I know I've lamented before about the fact that my family does not play games together the way my first family did when I was growing up. I miss playing games and remember very fondly the evenings of marathon Monopoly games where we played with several versions set together (you had to exchange money at the current exchange rate when you went from the American to the German version or vice versa) and Risk challenges where my sister and I attempted world domination over each other.

My parents taught us to play just about every card game under the sun, even attempting to teach us canasta on one tension-filled evening until my dad finally gave it up as a bad job and we went back to 99 and I Doubt It (which I played later as Bullshit) and Hearts. I played Speed Euchre with my friends in college, for favors and to while away the time during breaks while working summers cleaning and painting dorm rooms.

Our whole family was addicted to Trivial Pursuit for a long time as well, and we still play when we get together. Anders calls the Slaughter family version Trivial Abuse. My brother always makes me answer 3 brown questions if I land on brown (Arts & Literature) because I always know the answers. My mom invariably wins the games regardless, because she remembers more history and entertainment than the rest of us.

We learned Gin Rummy with my grandfather who was a cutthroat player and we kids played Crazy Eights and Go Fish and Slapjack and endless rounds of War, and chortled every time we found a new victim to play 52-Pickup with or Water & Fire. In college I also learned a hilarious game called Colorado Crazy Eights which is action-packed and loads of fun, and we've pulled that out a few times with friends to great success.

My kids haven't been much interested in board or card games though occasionally we can get them to play, like with A Moose In the House and Scattergories at my brother's this summer. I think it's partly the Swedish culture, funny as it may sound, that doesn't encourage this kind of competition, and games like Sorry! and Aggravation were declared "not fun" by both my children because of the way you treat your fellow players.

Traditionally, we have myskväll (family cosy evenings) on Fridays and Saturdays whenever we don't have other plans, a ritual that typically involves TV or a movie and bowls of popcorn and candy. But tonight, there wasn't anything on TV and we've seen all our movies, so I suggested we play a game instead and was (secretly) surprised when Anders and the kids agreed. It took some time to agree on which game to play, and our first choice, Clue, was missing too many pieces, so we ended up, rather strangely, with Spartanopoly, which is the Michigan State University (where I went to college) version of Monopoly. The rules are all basically the same but the properties are all businesses from 80s-era East Lansing and the railroads have changed to the main streets of the campus and town, while houses and hotels have transformed to credits and diplomas, etc.

The kids have never played Monopoly, at least not that I remember, but the rules are pretty straightforward, so we teamed up: Martin & Anders against Karin and I, and started playing. At one point, the boys got a Campus Mail card (Chance) that required them to sing the MSU Fight Song or lose a turn and they howled about the unfairness of it since I was the only one that knew the song. Hee! (though I actually couldn't remember anything but the 2nd verse myself)

We played for about an hour and a half, and Anders & Martin had all the luck. They managed to land on Student Parking and collect all the money in the center of the board TWICE and avoided the worst of the fines and properties around the board. Karin & I got sent "Home" (jail) several times and kept having to give back our $200 for increased tuition and parking fines. By bedtime, when we gave up and counted all our cash and property values, the boys had beaten the girls by nearly twice as much.

When I went in to say goodnight to Karin, we commiserated with each other on our loss and vowed that next time we'd pick a game we had a better chance of winning. She's voting for Scattergories, but I say we make 'em Sorry!
 cheerful
mood: cheerful
music: Stevie Ann—You Versus Me


Comments
(Anonymous)

Oh how fun! I personally recommend Taboo or Apples to Apples, two recent games that I find hilarious, and I think there's a Jr. Apples to Apples out there too.

Thanks for the rec...we have Taboo but it's too hard for the kids, but I'll check out Apples to Apples :)

(Anonymous)
Apples to Apples

I have BOTH versions if you ever want to borrow it...I use them A LOT for my English classes both in school and the private lessons. A really good LANGUAGE game with silly wordly results. Waiting for Maya to read before we can play it together!

I also recommend BLOKUS....good for strategy and geometry!

Carol in Sweden

(Anonymous)

And I always forget to sign my damn name ....

Heather

Re: Whoonu is our current fav here

Thanks for the rec! I just put that on our wish list! :)

We never played any sort of board or card games when I was a kid. Possibly it was because there were simply too many of us or that my many brothers were too interested in attempting to torture and kill each other outside to bother with being inside (no long, cold winter to worry about in SA). We did a lot of outdoor things instead - riding our bikes to the creek, catching tadpoles, flying kites, endless games of cowboys and indians or pirates. I can't imagine my brothers even sitting still for 5 minutes, let alone adiding by any "rules" that a game dictates. I'm feeling very deprived.

I'm told that I would probably be good at Trivial Pursuit as I know a lot of obscure nonsense and have a good memory for history, literature and celebrity gossip! But I've never played it. Nor card games. Not even Monopoly. I think there is an Australian game called Squatter that I played a few times with friends, but I was mostly bored by it. I did like Scrabble, but nobody would play me more than once :(

Well, there's always Wordscraper! Fire up a game :)

You would probably be killer at TP...next time you come this way, we can plan a game night!

Mexican Train is a super fun domino game! We played it all the time while visiting my sister. hehe

Are there any Swedish families who grow up playing games? I haven't met one yet. I really miss sitting around strategizing over games all evening long. It was such fun! Maybe you're right in that the Swedish mentality doesn't lend itself well to there being only one winner in a game.

(Anonymous)

Well, we played Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit occasionally. And Fia med knuff! And kinaschack! (Don't know what the last two are called in English). :)

This was mostly when we were out boating. We played in the evening, on the boat in the archipelago, with the sun setting around us. It was really nice. :)

/Mia

http://mias.blogg.se

I have a Swedish friend who shares my love for all things boardgame. His family has an impressive collection of games: Clue, Monopoly, Rappakalja, Vem vill bli miljonär, Pictionary, Risk, TP, etc.

(Anonymous)
Playing games

I LOVE playing games! But BO is not a game player...well, so he says. But if it's the right game...he enjoys it, and admits it! He's good at the Triva thing (which I dislike playing!) Maya is a game player too...if she wins. We're working on that. My parents have always been big game players....especially cards, anything.
My friends and I in California used to play Pictionary for serious...we were so competitive & LOUD that my neighbors came over to make sure everyone was safe!

We should plan a GAME NIGHT again...in Jan or FEb! So we could whip you SORRY! or MOnopologize you! lol

Sounds like ya'll had a lot of fun playing! Hope ya'll have more nights like that but with the GIRLS WINNING!

(Anonymous)
Re: Playing games

Forgot my name...

Carol in Sweden if you couldn't tell from above!

(Anonymous)

I'm very impressed by your multiple currency Monopoly marathons! That is really quite cool. And glad to hear that the kids are getting into games too, what a fun thing to do with the family.

We grew up playing games too, especially card games. Now C is getting into games (hurray) and she is addicted to UNO and Ravensburger games like Lotti Karotti (super for 4 & 5 year olds) and Kiki Ricky. I'm wondering if this Christmas might be the year for Clue!

julia @ kolo

My husband and I CANNOT wait until our girls get old enough to play games with us! He has already taught our 3-year-old rudimentary chess and mancala... but I am most looking forward to hilarious word games like Balderdash and sneaky card games like Scottish Bridge or Canasta (though we play it as Hand & Foot with a few extra rules). Maybe if you keep game night up with your kids, they'll warm up little by little!

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