J Simens.com

A Walk Down History Lane: Your Childhood Games


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We all have our favorite games from childhood, which we enjoyed for hours with friends and family. Those games offered unique combinations of strategy, entertainment and originality. And, as a result, many have remained around for decades.

I grew up on Monopoly.

Monopoly is an American board game published by Parker Brothers. Hasbro even conducts a worldwide Monopoly tournament. The first Monopoly World Championships took place in Grossinger’s Resort in New York, in November 1973. It has been aired in the United States by ESPN.

The Wright Family ( my maiden name)  each summer conducted a worldwide Monopoly tournament. We all got together in the upstairs bedroom and started to play a long marathon of Monopoly playing. I was often the youngest member playing the the game. I often lost! My bothers, sisters and cousins were much better with banking and investments than I was.

Being an expat, I am pleased to see Monopoly is a world-wide game. The current world champions have come from the following countries:  United States, Ireland, Singapore, Italy, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Netherland, Hong Kong, Japan, Spain and Norway. This means children must play Monopoly around the world

The memories I have about Monopoly in Russell Springs Kansas on a hot summer night are special. We did not always do as the game rules suggested.

For example:

Setup time – 10 minutes

This would take my older brothers and sisters the average time but for me the youngest. I swear they were always telling me to hurry up!

Playing time – 240 minutes (3 to 4 hours) [average]  But…But…we had games that went late into the night and everyone took their money to bed with them and we resumed playing the following morning. I guess we trusted our hotels and playing pieces to remain where they needed to be, but cash, well cash is cash!

Skill(s) required Negotiation, Resource management –  Huh?  I thought it was the skill of sticking to a task and not giving up. Perseverance!

Yet toy makers just can’t seem to help themselves when it comes to updating the classics. They insist on adding electronic features that take away all the joy (and education) from playing the game.

Does Monopoly really need credit cards and an electronic bank?

Is a Magic 8 Ball more fun if the answers are shouted out by a TV character? What about a dice game that doesn’t have dice? My list of good toys being turned into non-thinking actions can go on and on.  Stop the madness – buy the classic games and toys and let your child learn. The most important thing to remember is that kids need to play board games to learn to take turns, negotiation skills and being honest.  Are your kids experts in these areas?

Notes:  Yes, I was considered Ms. Wright for almost 30 years~

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