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Board Games – Christmas

Remember Board Games this Christmas, by Sophie Robinson

They’re anything but boring

scrabble-boardDespite the increasing popularity of computer and electronic games, good old fashioned board games still have their place. There are websites dedicated to fans of the genre, and when I posted a request on Facebook for recommendations, I was inundated with suggestions. Yes, a passion for this type of gaming is still very much alive!

As a child, I spent rainy Saturday afternoons sprawled across the living room carpet engrossed in a game of Monopoly. British weather being what it is, mum would entertain us three children for several hours with this rather long winded game that has aptly been renamed ‘Monotony’ by some!

The most memorable games always involved dad. He was kind, fair and compassionate by nature, but once involved in a game of Monopoly, a much darker side would emerge. If he met with bad luck at the start, he would tug at our heart strings, persuade us to part with valuable properties for next to nothing, talk us into letting him off rent, and then end up winning by placing about fourteen hotels on Park Lane! Merciless, totally merciless.

Scrabble is another favourite. Mum and I have enjoyed many an hour challenging one another’s wits and word power. It’s a great way to improve vocabulary and spelling skills, but neither is required to win. Dad was notorious for his somewhat unorthodox spellings and when it was his turn, he would pour over the board for what seemed like hours, giving mum time to make a drink, eat a round of toast and watch the latest episode of Coronation Street, before placing his three letter word that included an x and z over a triple letter word-score and earning himself in excess of 100 points. Strategy was always the key, and he was not lacking in that department!

I remember the time the family played Pictionary on a caravan holiday. We laughed and teased and giggled at one another’s attempts at drawing, but none were as funny as dad’s rendition of a horse. It took us the best part of an hour to identify it and the cup and saucer that followed weren’t much better!

Fun, friendship and family time together are all reasons why board games continue to be as popular now as ever. Nothing can replace that feeling of camaraderie that comes with physical proximity as you nudge elbows and knock knees, or even the board itself, while engrossed in the very serious business of trying to beat down your opponents. All the better if those opponents are blood-relatives!

There are always new games coming out and new additions for this year include Don’t Panic for all the family and a great new game for 16+, called Speak Out. There is a whole host of games out there just waiting to be discovered and enjoyed! Go get yourself one this Christmas!