Throwback Thursday – The Games People Play

Welcome back to Throwback Thursday Memory BlogHop where we take on a nostalgic object, event, or memory and blog about it.

Lauren was steering the ship last week and I get to take a shot at the helm again today. This week I chose The Games People Play.

How to Participate:

It’s Easy! Write your own post about the subject and share your own memories or experience about the topic by leaving a pingback to this post in the comments.

It could even be a story about a parent or a sibling or someone else who figured prominently. Poems are welcome, too. You can use the photo above in your post and tag it with #TBTMemory or #IRememberWhen to make it easier for others to find.

Or, even easier, if you do not wish to write your own post, feel free to tell your story in the comments below!

Today’s subject: The Games People Play

Play is how children learn. They learn dexterity, logic, skill, sportsmanship, problem-solving, creativity, teamwork, and so much more! Games can be physical in nature, or purely a mental exercise. Families often gather to play games, with favorite games played over and over. Games are used to pass time on road trips or during things like power outages when electronics are not as available. People who live alone play solitary games as a way to keep mentally alert. Children make up games like tag and Simon Says and hide-and-go-seek. In earlier times people played parlor games as part of their social experience.

What games do you and your family play? Do you play games on your cell phone while waiting for the doctor? Are you a good sport or a sore loser? Do board games drive you crazy or do you have stacks of them on your shelves? What game piece do you choose in Monopoly? Are bridge, canasta, or rummy in your repertoire? What games do you despise? Is there a unique game you or your family played that others may have never experienced? Come on, roll the dice and spill the beans.

My post follows below.

Games at our house included card games, home-spun games, and later on, board games.

Growing up in the Valley, we had a community club in the old school building. Everyone gathered there for parties and holidays and we always played parlor games. My parents were excellent at these games. Diseases and Cures, Poor Old Puss, Suitcase Races, Tommy Tommy, and Going to California were among the favorites. They were games that children and adults played together, in a group community setting. They were so much fun.

Hancock.Tom, Game of Authors card deck from 1897, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons

In our family card games were the norm. We played Old Maid, Authors, and at my maternal grandparents’ house, we played Rook. Our parents taught us to play Rummy, Hearts, Spades, 21, 5-card draw, and 7-card stud with traditional playing cards. As kids, we also loved to play War. My mom was a bit of a sore loser when it came to cards and I have seen her throw a hand of cards across the room when she knew she had lost the game.

And of course, we played board games –  Parcheesi, Sorry, Scrabble, Monopoly, Checkers, Chinese Checkers, Backgammon, and sometimes Chess although none of us were very good at chess. Later when I had children we added a few games like Clue, Risk, Battleship, and The Game of Life. And there was always a set or two of Dominoes around the house.

My sisters and I found a Bookcase Game we loved – Facts in Five. When one of us would move, the game would move, too, or mysteriously disappear. I know we must have purchased that game four or five times. I purchased a game off EBay to take on our cabin trip right before the pandemic hit. And speaking of the cabin, that was the first time I had ever played Cards Against Humanity – not a game I would feel comfortable playing in mixed company but it was fun.

Our Grandson Put Us to Shame

When our first grandson came to stay with us in the summer, we often played games together. I remember teaching him not to cheat and also the art of losing gracefully. Oh, did he hate to lose. We started playing games like Yahtzee and we bought him a BirdOpoly game (based on identifying facts about different bird species). As he got older, he moved into strategy games like (Settlers of) Catan and Risk and he almost always won – fair and square. His mind was so good at strategy. He was also our Chess player. We had a Chess club that met at a local bookstore in Florida. Our grandson would ask these 60-year-old gentlemen if he could play and they would gladly oblige.

The great thing about grandkids is that you get a chance to play games that you wanted as a kid yourself. Games like Mousetrap. I learned quickly why the grandkids did not enjoy that game so much – the setup time is painful for someone with very little attention span.

When two of our grandchildren were here this summer, I bought a copy of Pictionary – the old-fashioned kind. Everything seems to have a digital version now. We had a lot of fun drawing and playing together, but they are only good for one or two games before they are ready to return to their devices.

Maybe once the pandemic is over, we can reinstitute Game Night. I think that would be great fun.