I was thinking about the games we used to play when I was a kid, and at first the only game I could remember playing was the Original Pokeno Game. I remember Pokeno as being a mix between keno and poker. I think this game came to my mind first because Pokeno was played with a bunch of people. The Lawrence Welk show would be turned off and everyone would sit down and play Pokeno. I think this was important to me as a child because I got to play a grownup game with grownups. I imagine my daughter feels the same way when me all play Apples to Apples or Scene It?.
I also remember playing a lot of YATZEE. It didn’t really dawn on me until I started taking some notes for this post, just how much Yatzee got played. I know I have a Yatzee game in the cupboard, but I don’t think I’ve played it in over a decade. I will get it out and we’ll all sit down and roll some dice. I will review the game after we play it with my three-year-old. He will love the dice rolling part.
I don’t remember playing too many other games with my family, which is pretty sad really. I remember playing games with my cousins and kids who lived on my street, but not so much with my parents. Writing about this had reminded me of one of the reasons why I started this site. There is something unique and wonderful about sitting down and playing a game with people you love. Playing a game together is like a social contract for amusement. There are rules for interaction and play moves towards a goal, but the thing that is so special about playing a game is the intent to have fun together. When you sit down to play a game, you are committing yourself to an activity designed to make you feel good. I suppose I’m over-analyzing this, but this is important to me. Play games with the people you care about.
What kinds of games did you play with your family when you were growing up? Do you still play those games with your family?