Our family is big on games. We’re “gamers” as they say. Whenever we get together either with friends or family, we play our fair share of games.
It’s a hoot and a howl and we usually end up laughing our heads off after a few pizzas and beers. Since our kids are grown and out of the house, we’ve instituted a Once A Month Game day!
Cards are usually the game of choice. We’ll play anything from UNO to Milles Bornes to Phase Ten. We have Phase Ten Tournaments. My new son-in-law is quite a competitor. He and my hubby are always trying to outdo each other.
Sequence is a board game that you play with a deck of cards as well. Its sort of like Bingo … but we play regular Bingo too!
When we have a larger group than the six of us, like this past Easter – we’ll break out Catch Phrase. This is a game like Password, where you are allowed to describe the word in any way possible to your team members. Once your team gets the word, you pass the digital “board” to your opponent. A clock clicks off time and if you’re the team left holding the “board” when the timer runs out, the opposing team scores a point. Not only are we playing a Password type game, but we’re also playing Hot Potato – all at the same time.
As I peruse my closet, I see digital Deal or No Deal (but you don’t win any real money), Risk (one time we played this game for 8 hours), Parcheesi (for oldies but goodies) and Upwords, a board game that’s like scrabble except you can build tiles upon each other. Of course Yahtzee and Monopoly and Clue are among my all time favorites. Fun, Fun, Fun!
So what games did they play in the 1800’s?
The first American board game was created in 1843 by the W & S.B Ives Company called the Mansion of Happiness. This game led children via their playing pieces down the path of “eternal happiness.”
Would you believe that the The Game of Life as we know it (pictured on left) started out as the picture you see next to it. Invented by Milton Bradley in 1860, The Checkered Game of Life was a board game that rewarded good deeds and punished bad ones. Milton Bradley, once a successful lithographer, had created a portrait of Abe Lincoln without his beard. When Lincoln grew his now-famous beard, Bradley’s clean-shaven portrait was no longer popular. Out of desperation, Bradley designed the Checkered Game of Life and its immediate popularity started Milton Bradley on a new career path.
As more and more Americans traveled overseas in the late 1800’s, traveling board games held great appeal. Travelers could relive their trips by playing such games as Around the World invented in 1873 or McLoughlin Brothers’ Game of Round the World with Nellie Bly which was created in 1890.
Are you a “gamer” too? Do you play cards or board games with family and friends? Which are your favorites?