E is for entertainment for the whole family

In the 1980s, I ROCKED at Trivial Pursuit

UnoIn November 2018, Slate came up with The 40 Greatest Family Games, entertainment for the whole family. There are five things games should be: the right length, fair, action-packed, helping you learn something, and encouraging spontaneity. “Not every good game follows all these commandments, but the best ones balance them well.”

I will only note the ones I have actually played.

Sorry! – wrote about its greatness here eight and a half years ago
Concentration – I’ve always been notoriously bad at this. By the time my daughter was eight, she could beat me. I used to watch a TV version with Hugh Downs as the host.
Uno – I am a harsh competitor. Even when she was much younger, if the Daughter didn’t say “Uno” when she played her penultimate card, I made her take two more. I also insisted she keep her cards above the table. Slate calls it Bloodthirsty, Thrilling, and Desperate
Air Hockey – when we’re at the timeshare, the daughter, nieces and I often play. Something visceral about it.

Apples to Apples – “asks players to decide which of a set of proposed nouns best fits that round’s designated adjective.” It’s often hilarious.
Boggle – My wife is MUCH better finding words than I.
Cribbage – I actually have a cribbage board and deck of cards both in my office and at home
Pictionary – I’m lousy at it because I cannot draw worth beans
Chess – I learned how the pieces move, but that is about it

Scrabble – I played this with my great aunt over 55 years ago. My college roommate painted me a Scrabble board. I’ve reviewed a book about Scrabble. I haven’t played in a while. No, I’ve seldom played Words with Friends online.
Scattergories, Stratego – I’ve played them but never owned them
Trivial Pursuit – in the 1980s, I ROCKED at Trivial Pursuit. Now, any 21st century pop culture question would ground me
Yahtzee – a dice game that I like because it requires decision-making and odds calculating

Slate also notes the 10 Worst Family Games

Candy Land – pretty lame, I thought, even as a child
Clue – I never “got” Clue
Hangman – boring
Life – I actually liked it as a kid, but quit by my teen years

Monopoly – I’ve played it enough that, at one time, I could have told you the price and rent of every property on the board. I suppose they’re right, though – “the most famous branded board game of all time can be made enjoyable — with the help of some aggressive house rules”
Operation – hated it from the start
Risk – never warmed to it
Tic-tac-toe – statistically boring

For ABC Wednesday

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. i hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

8 thoughts on “E is for entertainment for the whole family”

  1. well, now I’ve played my fair share of most of those games, and quite a few more, to boot! Quests of the Round Table, War & Sheep, Dungeons & Dragons, Othello, Mastermind, Nanofictionary, and Dark Tower to name a few. I used to do some writing and editing for a game company, as well. when the power is out, or my teen and I just want to take a break form our screens, we’ll play a few hands of cards.

  2. I grew up in a family where games were not played..
    My husband as well…

    I’ve tried to show them the fun of playing games but I did not succeed by either of those three 😉

    So… my favorite game (scrabble) is being played online now by me and I am glad with that opportunity

    Have a splendid, ♥-warming ABC-Wednes-day / -week at https://abcwednesday.com
    ♫ M e l d y ♪ (ABC-W-team)
    http://melodyk.nl/24-D

  3. Roger,

    Entertainment is a great topic for today’s alpha prompt. We played a lot of board games over the years, especially when the kids were small. Aggravation is perhaps our favorite. This works well for a family of five. Another game we enjoyed is Backgammon. We’d have tournaments where the winner played a new challenger. I was not too good at it but enjoyed the spirit of fun. These days our primary form of entertainment is streaming movies and mewsic. Of course, I enjoy sketching so that entertains me for hours on end. Uno was game we played in our early marriage when we didn’t have kids. That was a lot of fun. I think we played with the kids after they got big enough but the board games were preferred. Hey, I liked Hangman and Tic-Tac-Toe when I was a kid. I’m not sure how I’d feel about it these days. 🙂 Happy ABCing!

  4. But you left out the best family game of all – Dominoes! I learned to count before I started school because of playing Dominoes. And we played so many Chinese Checker games that there are holes worn completely through on the board (I still have it).
    Back in the 1970s we would get together with friends to play Uno, but the game my husband really likes is Rook.
    Hope you are having a great week!

  5. Board games are wonderful ~ making a ‘comeback’ in some places ~ Entertaining self is especially important ~ my favorite is a good book!

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  6. Everyone in our family plays games, except for me! I can’t wait till it ends, because it feels like a waste of time, since I don’t care about “winning.” I rather puzzle, read, make jewelry, knit, crochet, or something else.

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