I grew up in a very game-heavy family. My father’s side of the family is huge and almost all of them are obsessed with games (or maybe winning). The Boonstra’s are not a particularly sporty bunch so our game are mostly confined to card games and board games. I remember playing go fish pretty much as soon as I could hold cards and from then on the games only got better. Before I knew it I was playing sevens, signal, president (a game I will probably continue to play until I die), yuker, and spoons. Yuker was great because that was an ~adult~ game that I learned when I was quite young. I would hold my own against aunts, uncle and grandparents all while only slightly grasping the rules. Spoons on the other hand was the opposite of this entirely. The whole game involved getting four of a kind and grabbing a spoon before anyone else. The last one left without a spoon looses. That’s it. That’s the whole thing. But in my family it became a truly epic game. Two separate chairs were broken during this game and we were banned from playing it after 10 o’clock. People were tackled, rivalries were built and friendships were ruined. This was no joke.
Board games are another family favorite. I remember trouble being my first game and then being really pissed off when I found out it was just a crap version of sorry. I distinctly remember playing Simpsons clue and Spongebob monopoly. I mean I guess it is the familiarity of the two shows that have kept them stuck in my brain. These weren’t the only games we played; pictionary was extremely popular (and also extremely competitive). Beyond that we mostly cycled through random games like Cranium, Taboo, Quelf, and Life. To this day we still have an entire bookshelf full of board games at the cottage.
Another game I particularly enjoyed was red rover. It was the most ridiculous, most violent game I was only briefly allowed to play in my young life. It seemed that just as we had discovered this glorious game of flinging yourselves at each other at top speed, they stole it away from us. I mean obviously you can’t let children just clothesline each other because they think it’s fun. I get it. But I will never forgive them for ceasing one of the best games ever created. Playground games are a truly wholesome memory and I honestly wish people played them into adulthood. Grounders, manhunt, hide and seek, and even foursquare were amazing games and I want a park for adults.
As I got older, games evolved (obviously). My gameboy advance soon became my nintendo DS and I had a whole new way to play the Lizzie McGuire game. School yard games became sports like field hockey and football (a little more acceptable as a teen). Card games turned into drinking games and eventually even my DS was outdated. Apps have become really my main source of games now – it’s easy and its accessible. Just as we used to do with board games I cycle through random iphone games until I am inevitably bored of them. There are always new games to play and with apps it is instantaneous. It is also independent for the most part. This obviously adds to the accessibility but I do think I miss the connection and fierce competition in group games.