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Getting into “Trouble:” Favorite Childhood Boardgames

Emily Dore | Monday, September 14, 2009

“Should I go to college or start a job right away?” Many eight-year-olds have faced this question Friday nights. The very decision has pitted parents and children against each other, and started arguments and mocking laughter. It could send a child down the path to destruction or wild success in the span of an hour. This was the game of “Life,” where plastic people and cars decided childhood happiness for a night.
Board games had a way of turning a quiet family evening into one of turned over tables and tearful shouting. If grandma was ever accused of cheating, it might have been while sitting around the kitchen table. Champions had bragging rights for the night, while losers sulked in the corner. Never had happiness been decided by the roll of dice or flick of a card.
Here’s a nostalgic look back at the top 10 games which either left you pumping your fists or shedding a tear on the way to bed:
“Sorry!:” What better way to get back at an older sibling passive aggressively, then by sending their plastic marker back to Start. The game seemed simple: Move four pieces around a board back to Home, before the competition. Yet with Sorry! cards which could knock family members out of the lead, that’s where simplicity ended and war began.
“Life:” If you ever cured cancer, owned a yacht, and retired with more than $1,000,000 to your name, all while living in a shack with a high school degree, you were likely playing the game of “Life.” As a 10-year-old, it made adulthood seem exciting … until you realized real life doesn’t include an extra $10,000 every time a wheel hits 10. 
“Perfect Wedding:” Never had Cancun seemed so romantic. In this board game, little girls planned their “perfect weddings,” complete with bridal gowns and honeymoon destinations.
“Trouble:” The sound of popping dice and a small plastic board were the deciding factors in this game. If this was the most trouble your younger brother got into that night, it was probably a relief for mom.
“Candyland:” In a perfect world, “Candyland” would include built-in candy surprises. Instead, it is only a game of colors. However, every time a card told you to move back to Mr. Plumpy, despite already being three quarters of the way up the board, it was reason to cry.
“Monopoly:” Over 500 million people in the world have played “Monopoly.” In the game of future real estate developers, owning Park Place and Boardwalk was the pinnacle of success … until both had to be mortgaged.
“Operation:” “Is it water on the knee?” With metal tweezers and playing cards, “Operation” proved that there was a doctor in us all. Diseases like “broken heart” and “butterflies in the stomach” made medical school seem like a breeze, since anyone with a steady hand could probably do it.
“Risk:” The game of world domination and young tyrants. Another reason why children should not rule the world.
“Pretty, Pretty Princess:” Every girl was the envy of the neighborhood with this board game of feather boas and “gold” crowns. Purple plastic rings have never looked so stylish.
“Yahtzee:” There was nothing more crushing than getting four fives and one six, thereby eliminating chance for a Yahtzee.
So break out the “Sorry!” boards and experience one more night of glory with your roommates. Just be careful when you send them back to Start.

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The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

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archive

Getting into “Trouble:” Favorite Childhood Boardgames

Emily Dore | Sunday, September 13, 2009

“Should I go to college or start a job right away?” Many eight-year-olds have faced this question Friday nights. The very decision has pitted parents and children against each other, and started arguments and mocking laughter. It could send a child down the path to destruction or wild success in the span of an hour. This was the game of “Life,” where plastic people and cars decided childhood happiness for a night.Board games had a way of turning a quiet family evening into one of turned over tables and tearful shouting. If grandma was ever accused of cheating, it might have been while sitting around the kitchen table. Champions had bragging rights for the night, while losers sulked in the corner. Never had happiness been decided by the roll of dice or flick of a card.Here’s a nostalgic look back at the top 10 games which either left you pumping your fists or shedding a tear on the way to bed:”Sorry!:” What better way to get back at an older sibling passive aggressively, then by sending their plastic marker back to Start. The game seemed simple: Move four pieces around a board back to Home, before the competition. Yet with Sorry! cards which could knock family members out of the lead, that’s where simplicity ended and war began. “Life:” If you ever cured cancer, owned a yacht, and retired with more than $1,000,000 to your name, all while living in a shack with a high school degree, you were likely playing the game of “Life.” As a 10-year-old, it made adulthood seem exciting … until you realized real life doesn’t include an extra $10,000 every time a wheel hits 10.  “Perfect Wedding:” Never had Cancun seemed so romantic. In this board game, little girls planned their “perfect weddings,” complete with bridal gowns and honeymoon destinations. “Trouble:” The sound of popping dice and a small plastic board were the deciding factors in this game. If this was the most trouble your younger brother got into that night, it was probably a relief for mom.”Candyland:” In a perfect world, “Candyland” would include built-in candy surprises. Instead, it is only a game of colors. However, every time a card told you to move back to Mr. Plumpy, despite already being three quarters of the way up the board, it was reason to cry. “Monopoly:” Over 500 million people in the world have played “Monopoly.” In the game of future real estate developers, owning Park Place and Boardwalk was the pinnacle of success … until both had to be mortgaged. “Operation:” “Is it water on the knee?” With metal tweezers and playing cards, “Operation” proved that there was a doctor in us all. Diseases like “broken heart” and “butterflies in the stomach” made medical school seem like a breeze, since anyone with a steady hand could probably do it.”Risk:” The game of world domination and young tyrants. Another reason why children should not rule the world.”Pretty, Pretty Princess:” Every girl was the envy of the neighborhood with this board game of feather boas and “gold” crowns. Purple plastic rings have never looked so stylish.”Yahtzee:” There was nothing more crushing than getting four fives and one six, thereby eliminating chance for a Yahtzee.So break out the “Sorry!” boards and experience one more night of glory with your roommates. Just be careful when you send them back to Start.