Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Game of Life

My all time favorite board game was The Game of Life. After you spin the wheel, you get to move across the game board, while all kind of things happened to you along the way depending on where you landed. You got to make a few choices like school or college, and house or vacation. They even let you get a chance to go back to school and change careers somewhere in the middle.

I absolutely loved this game. I can remember how excited I was when I convinced all my cousins to play one holiday and we filled up the board game with our cars. Such a vivid memory is usually caused by a feeling or emotion which in this case would be disappointment. My excitement built up as I recruited players, set up, and we finally started our journey across the colored board filled with life events opportunity, choice, failure, and sometimes good luck. After my car had only completed halfway across the board, I watched them lose interest one by one and despite my enthusiasm and motivation, we just quit. I never understood why nobody liked this game as much as me. I eventually got the computer game when I was in high school.

I miss playing board games especially one that gives me the opportunity to make different choices each time to see where I would end up. If you know me at all, you must be able to imagine the look on my face as my eyes lit up and I shouted YES after someone mentioned playing on their phone a few months ago.  So much fun! We each took turns passing around the phone to spin and watch where our car would land. Halfway through the game I realized that the other players were married and filling up their car with more kids. It kind of felt nice cruising solo in my car and when the game ended I realized something did change about The Game of Life  “I don’t have to get married anymore? “

As I’m doing research while I’m writing this, I’m having a tough time finding the exact date of this change. I remember from childhood this not being a choice and the celebrations allowed the player a chance to spend for gifts. Weddings and baby showers were pretty much everybody else’s favorite part. I even remember once somebody must have landed on all the “fertile spaces” because we were faced with a dilemma. The car is only big enough for a family of six and nobody had ever had more than 4 children before. What really had me confused was why the game was even set up for this to happen. What if we had more players and all the cars were being used. I kind of realized then that four kids or less should pretty much be the standard. 
According to Wikipedia for the 1980s version included:
“Red spaces now always signify a major life event (e.g. graduation, marriage, buying a house, retirement) and must be stopped on even if the spin is greater than the number needed to land on them. The "decision" spaces are now blue and if landed on, the player can choose to follow them or do nothing”

The last time we played about two months ago I only remember that I didn’t have to get married and I didn’t have any kids. I was still riding around Solo for the first time. The Game of Life is always changing. If you are interested at all take a look at the link below to see how many areas of life have been affected so that the game matches up with our own.
I don't think anybody shared my interest in this game because there was no strategy to win. Winning at the end didn't even feel like much of an accomplishment to me.  I simply liked the adventure and suspense of what would happen next.

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