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Roundtable Discussion: Fictional/Nonfictional Childhood Games


While we’re still in the midst of back to school season we decided to find out just how weird our staff members were as kids.  It did not disappoint.  This week I posed the question of what their favorite childhood games were growing up.  This could have been made up, obscure or traditional.  Hilarity ensued.

Bethany: My brother and I made up our own games all the time when we were little (we were homeschooled…what do you want? lol).  Anyways, remember the old TV Guides that came in the Sunday newspaper and the whole week’s worth of television was in there?  And every 1/2 hour show was one block and every hour show was 2 blocks, etc.  We would take turns picking a random day and choosing one show on that page.  The other would have to guess which show we picked.  This literally took hours as we went back and forth trying to guess which show the other picked.  I have no idea why we found this so entertaining, but it was our little game.  🙂

CVM: Sadshare time.  So I really enjoyed board games as a child, but my sister would never want to play with me.  So instead of making my sister play a freaking game with me every once in a while, my parents just bought me the board games on Sega so I could play Monopoly. By myself.  In the basement.  Alone.  It was cold down there.  Everyone feel sorry for me even though I had a Sega.

Chris M: My brother had a Fisher Price golf set with a plastic putter, driver, and wedge.  In our house, the walk went straight from the front door to the sidewalk, neatly dividing the front yard in two.  My brother and I played a game where one of us would throw a Frisbee into the other’s zone, and the object was to knock it out of the air before it hit the ground.  If it hit the ground, the thrower got a point.  If it was knocked down, no points were awarded.  Then the defender became the attacker, ad nocem.

Drew: Let’s just recap some of the high-concept games that looked SO damn fun in commercials but usually broke, got boring, or caused injury after playing once or twice. Gator Golf (You putt a golfball into an alligator’s mouth and it shoots it back at you). Eat At Ralph’s (Shove as many pieces of food into a giant man’s mouth as you can before he vomits them back out… way to go, America). Elefun (Try to catch butterflies flying out of an elephant’s trunk). Don’t Wake Daddy (A bunch of punk kids harass their poor father who just wants some rest). Simon (If you don’t have friends, play Simon Says with some blinking lights).

All endlessly fun. I feel guilty for making my parents drive me to Toys R Us when really my favorite games to play were tag or hide-and-go-seek or games that actually require movement and physical interaction with other humans.

Scott: There was a construction area open near my house that was essentially abandoned for several years, so my friends and I turned it into our own little BMX course. I had a Dyno VFR, and I was much more confident about my skills than I ever should have been. We had built a pretty big hill, and I decided I was going to attempt to do a backflip. I made it about halfway around, which is the worst percentage of a backflip to complete – landed on my back, and thankfully the fall only knocked the air out of me. X-Games dreams destroyed.
Tristan: Drew I think you forgot cross fire.  One of the most intensely fun looking commercials I saw as a kid which ended up just being shooting marbles at each other on a board.  LAME!  Oh and Mouse Trap.  I don’t think I ever encountered a kid with the patience to actually set that stuff up all the way.  That game may have had more kids make up the rules to it than Mancala or Clue.
CVM: Mouse Trap was the reason I would agree to have play dates with this really annoying girl.  She had the game and it was like the Holy Grail of board games (this was pre-sega).  She wouldn’t want to play it but I didn’t care. I would sit in her house and play by myself (again, supersadface).  We also had Clue on the Sega. I don’t know why my parents weren’t concerned about me.
Coit: In my house growing up we had a long hallway with an archway at one end. My sister and I, along with most of our friends and family, were big-time soccer players. So what we would do is take a pillow shaped and made to look like a soccer ball and have penalty kick shoot-offs…indoors! I stopped counting how many times we knocked the Georgia O’Keefe print off the wall directly behind the “goal”. Also lost track of how many times I smashed my face. Did not, however, lose track of how many times I was grounded for breaking the artwork and getting too rowdy. 112.
Mike Z: I loved playing Mouse Trap but the trap never fully worked. Something always would mess-up and I would have to manually tip over something to get the trap down. Always frustrated me but still a great game.
The one game we always played was Hungry Hungry Hippos. We would play so much we would get blisters on our palms. I thought that was the most painful injury before bones started breaking playing sports…
Lindsay: One of my favorites was LIFE. My friends and I used to play pretend, with invisible husbands and invisible children, so I think that played into my love of the game. Same with Barbies. Odd isn’t it, how when you’re younger you wish you were older, and now that we are older it’s like “What was I thinking!?” I don’t know about the rest of you, but being a grown up isn’t at all how I imagined it when I was little haha.

LVZ: My sister and I would get really bored and want to play a game but also didn’t want to sit around, so we made up our own game that included physical tasks. I guess we really didn’t make up a game, but we assigned feats of strength, balance, and coordination to numbers on the game Sorry! We would play Sorry! as usual but have to do headstands, sprints, or pushups when we drew cards. It was a small town, this was all we had.
Coit: Sounds like you could sue Double Dare for taking your idea on the “physical challenge”
Tristan: My friends and I would do something similar to the effect of Global Guts/Legends of the Hidden Temple.  We made an agro crag of pillows and sofas.  What can I say we had to grab a piece of the rock!

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