Friday, February 3, 2012

Games People Play

When you were a child, what games did you play in your house or neighborhood?

 My sister and I didn't play games together very often, because I would always be accused of cheating.  I did have the advantage of being older, and therefore more "learned" than her.  If we did play a game, at the first sign of my sister losing or my winning the game, out came the accusation.  So we didn't do board games much.

I remember playing Stratego a bit, and liking it.  But that was probably because I won.  But I didn't cheat.  I just had superior intellect.

We had fun playing with her tape recorder for a while.  We'd listen to music and sing along, and sometimes do silly commentaries on the lyrics.  My sister wanted to be a singer when she grew up.  She performed for us a couple times, signing along with a record.  (This was before Karaoke was invented.)  I think I still have some cassette tapes that she and I made, pretending to have a "show" and doing skits.  I wonder if those cassettes would still play...

We played Monopoly a bit, and Life.  We had a lot of board games...  Monster Dash.  We enjoyed Bingo and Yahtzee.  We even played Trivial Pursuit a few times.

I remember playing quite a few games of tag.  Freeze tag and cartoon tag-- lots of different variations on just the simple chase game.  In cartoon tag you could be "safe" if you said a cartoon just before you were tagged by the person who was "it," as long as it was a cartoon nobody else had said already.  What other variations were there?  Blob tag, where the "it" person tags people and they become part of the "it" blob, all together running around trying to tag the last of the running free folks...

We played some serious hide and seek somedays.  I could usually lose myself in my mom and dad's walk-in closet.  Even if you turned the light on, you couldn't see through the hanging clothes. 

We played some video games, but not a lot.  We didn't have the game systems like a lot of our friends did.  I did eventually get an Atari 5200 and played a bunch of Pac-Man and Joust, River Raid, Pitfall, and even Breakout.  I made a nuisance of myself borrowing games from a family friend regularly.  I'd ride my bike over to their house just to ask if I could borrow a game or two, since I didn't have the money to buy the games for myself, and I didn't have a job at the time (I was underemployed then, too).

I am thankful for the safety and comfort that I was afforded during my childhood, such that play was allowed and encouraged.  Thanks to mom and dad for doing a great job for us kids.  I know it wasn't always easy.

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