It’s time to bring back board games and put away Guitar Hero

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Monopoly board

IT’S 4 A.M. — YOU WIN, NANNA! I’M TRAPPED ON WATERLOO WITH JACK SHIT! Tempers tend to rise during long Monopoly games. Maybe that’s why we’ve grown tired of dealing with that little metal dog.

Everyone loves video games. Fast-paced, addictive first-person shooters or racing games are the perfect diversion from life’s many stresses.

Electronic gaming hasn’t only replaced traditional diversions like reading or playing outdoors, it has also replaced traditional learning methods. Children can learn to read and develop analytical skills through devices like LeapFrog and educational video games. Even soldiers learn to fight using video games.

Unfortunately, because now we’re so busy saving the world in our living rooms, we’ve completely forgotten about the amusing puzzles and board games stuffed in our closets.

It seems our generation has stopped caring about the simple, cheap, and more importantly, fun video game alternatives.

The marketing world seems to have stopped caring too; I can’t even remember the last time a good new board game was released.

Recently released board games have lame concepts and can’t " and don’t try to " compare to the latest shoot-’em-up video games. The only interesting “new” board games released are reissues of old favourites with new twists, like Sponge Bob Life and Clone Wars Risk. Besides, are people even playing the numerous limited editions Milton Bradley cleverly conned them into purchasing? Probably not.

Sitting in my living room is a neglected checkers set with a thick dusty layer on its broken box. It’s hard finding time to sit down with roommates and enjoy a quick game.

Although my friends adore puzzles, most people I know ignore the innocent amusement board games provide. The regular Monopoly nights you had as kid have been replaced by violent video games, hazy bar nights and poker games in smoky rooms littered with beer bottles. The only time people play Twister anymore is when it’s a drinking game or there is an erotic twist.

I guess we’d rather plug into the endless world of electronics than enjoy board games, which have become something of an anachronism since even classic games like Monopoly can now be played on computers.

Though it might be difficult, sometimes we should convince our friends to stop playing Guitar Hero and re-embrace board games’ brilliance by passing Go and collecting $200.

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