Mature people from the 20th century may feel a twinge of nostalgia when reading the words ‘board game’ . I have visions of crouching over a cardboard square with family or friends, munching snacks, rolling the dice and moving discs, cards or tiny symbols around the board to shouts of glee or great annoyance depending on who was winning.
A board game has a goal each player aims to achieve. This means instant winners and losers. No reboot, no power-up, no regeneration, no second tries unless you’re a four year-old and burst into tears. Any game of chance has pitfalls, but when you flip that top card and see what you’ve got, it sets your mind racing not your thumbs.
I’ve played Halo, Assassin’s Creed, Grand Theft Auto and other equally absorbing, equally time-guzzling computer games which controlled my moves even if it didn’t feel like it. My Virtual Reality experiences offered yet another form of ‘visual involvement’ and the feeling of taking another step down the ladder to human isolation.
With an old-fashioned board game, the players’ moves are initially controlled by the dice and random Lady Luck. Thereafter, players can take a certain amount of responsibility for their movements and actions without the use of screen projections. They can survey the limits of the board and plan their course using opponents body language.
To tweak youthful reminiscences, I have compiled a list of my favourite board games for you. Scraps of paper and a pencil (for scoring) are optional. I’ve added some photographs of our boxed sets which have survived two generations. Regrettably I can’t seem to locate Trivial Pursuit! At one stage, maybe 1985, there were two big blue boxes on the shelf for special nights.
Ah, those fun-filled nights of comfy clothing, junk food, fizzy drinks and overheated face-to-face discussions <cue Back To The Future soundtrack>
♥ Gretchen Bernet-Ward
MY MEMORY LIST––I’M SURE THERE’S MORE
Snakes & Ladders
Chess (of course)
Escape from Colditz
It’s a Knockout
the list goes on…
SPECIAL MENTION: ‘War of the Daleks’ (from early days of TV series Dr Who) which I never played but would have love to––players moved tiny Daleks around the board, obviously saying ‘Exterminate, exterminate’. There are newer board games like ‘Time of the Daleks’ and electronic interactive TARDIS versions.