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Oh, Honey...You Shouldn't Have

I've been thinking a lot about board games lately. Big surprise, with the lad in the house. Board games are one of those activities parents are encouraged to play with their kids. Promotes family bonding! Helps make the kid a reader! Gives the parents an excuse to play! You get the idea.

Of course, I find myself thinking not about the usual games people play, like Monopoly or Risk or Life, but the games I enjoyed as a lad. Which were mostly weird ones. Usually from the pages of Dragon Magazine and created by Tom Wham: Snit's Revenge, The Awful Green Things From Outer Space, Search for the Emperor's Treasure, Elefant Hunt, Planet Busters, and others. My copies are (I believe) sitting up in my parents' attic. I think Ian would like them (someday). He may also cast scorn on them, old and faded from the Georgia heat as they are. Mmm, baked paper.

But all is not lost. Did you know people, rather than shelling out a chunk of change on eBay, actually recreate games that are out of print? Apparently, if you can get hold of a color printer and a few things popular with the scrapbooking crowd, you can make new counters, boards, and everything else. All you need to do is find the parts out on the Intarweb, and let's face it, this is just the sort of thing that the Intarweb has. There are even people making new games. I have a mild urge to create a game called "Cats with Gats." I envision it as Tom and Jerry crossed with 1920's mobsters. Possibly I just like the title.

Caution should be applied, of course. Making a gift rather than buying one says that you care, but a homemade game could still be wildly inappropriate. Think of it as the equivalent of buying your wife an unrequested vacuum cleaner: "Oh, honey...you really shouldn't have." I can see some real potential for this with geek couples, however ("You made me a copy of The Creature That Ate Sheboygan? Awesome!").

Comments

If you're interested, a friend of mine makes up games:

PatGames

As a big board games enthusiast, I've often wondered if people actually play Monopoloy, you know, at least more than a few times in their lives. And the few times they do play, how many of those where they actually finish the game? Because it's so awfully boring and long.

There's so many people I know who have that game, yet at the same time I don't have very many memories of playing it. I wonder if it's just one of those games that people buy and keep up in their closets, never to actually break it out and make a serious attempt at completing an entire game.

When the baby gets older, you should get him Buggo (http://www.funagain.com/control/product/~product_id=010817)
we bought that for our nieces and everyone, including their parents, likes it. This year, we bought them Max. Not sure what they think, yet (since it's not Christmas yet), but it gets high praise. Then, there's always RoboRally (it's been re-released) - of course that's probably further down the line than the other 2!

Rachel, your friend's got some interesting ideas (makes notes).

Simon, I always thought Monopoly was really fun when you first started out, but once the properties are mostly bought up, it descends into tedium. Plus I don't remember the rules covering what happens if a player is all mortgaged out and owes money. Maybe it should be played to a time limit.

Chandra, Buggo looks cool. And we have a couple nieces and nephews who might like that.