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What Board Games Teach us About Life

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No technology needed

Families need to reconnect more now than ever before. Technology has taken over the job of baby sitter, companion and parent in many homes. They are so distracted today with new gadgets that take each member away. Doing something fun together like plays games is good fro bonding and social interaction.

What ever happened to good old fashioned board games, like Monopoly ™ and The Game of Life ™. You know these two, because the whole family sat around a table and actually had to speak to each other and get along?

The games had a simple premise; start some where, go around the board on a mission, and hopefully end up home safe and sound. They actually taught social skills and good sportsmanship. These skills seem to be seriously lacking today. Now we find ourselves sitting in front of a screen, sometimes all day, because of our professions and sometimes due to our obsessions.

We need to shut down the screens,phones and tablets sometimes.

 Monopoly brings a family together

Monopoly brings a family together

We Need More Interaction Today

We are usually alone, in front of this screen and I think it has seriously disabled us, as humans. We do need some balance.

The television screen was the first screen most of us became fixated with. It was a magic box, filled with movement and sounds. I remember when my father brought home a color television. The large round screen was inside of a piece of furniture and each one of us kids would take turns manually turning the big knobs to change the channels and adjust the volume. Even though, it had about ten channels, it meant the world to us. And when color was introduced, I remember being in awe! But we used to watch television, together, at least. Now we have televisions in every room, along with our personal computer. or p.c.’s as they’ve come to be known.

It’s not easy tearing people away from their gadgets.People love their cell phones, personal games, computers, Bluetooth’s, and IPods.These devices may that keep us connected on some level, but not together..

Video advice on playing monopoly

Let The Games Begin

So, getting back to board games, I have a few favorites that I still play, on occasion today. My favorite board games are Monopoly ™, Sorry ™, The Game of Life ™, Parcheesi ™ Clue ™, and Scrabble ™ Each one is unique, with its’ own little player pieces, rules to play by, rewards and penalties, and board graphics.

Monopoly ™ object of the game is for one player to become the wealthiest by buying up as much property as possible, the players must be able to keep as much cash, property in the form of homes, hotels, utility companies and railroads. If you land on another players’ property, you must pay “rent.” If you land enough times on other properties, you could go bankrupt and be ejected from the game. But if you have the most money and properties when everyone is bankrupted by you, then you win! A little tyrannical perhaps, but it keeps players engaged!

Whenever my brothers and I played, one brother would always cheat by stashing money in the bathroom and take breaks to retrieve his “loot”. I think he did this before the game began. The others and I would always wonder how he would win every game. He was found out only a few years ago!

My second most favorite board game is the Game of Life ™. It seems a little more realistic than and not as lofty as Monopoly ™. I think this game appeals to me now because it has real life scenarios, such as deciding to go to college or get a job. You spin the big spinner (I love that) and jump on the amount of spaces to pick up a spouse along the way, have children, buy a home, get insurance, make investments and try to make it to retirement without going broke. It really applies to today’s life, doesn’t it? This game in particular will teach your children valuable lessons about life.

Schools don't really teach students about checking accounts, investments, relationships, buying a home. They must concentrate on education, how to take tests, and emphasize the fact that earning high grades gets them into a good college. After that, they have to learn by trial and error. Maybe a little competitive game with real life issues will be a creative teaching tool.

Learning About Life Can Be a Game

The other favorite board games in order are Clue ™, Parcheesi ™ , Sorry ™ and Scrabble ™. Each one is ranked from how complicated the rules and objectives are. I’ll bet you have played at least one of these games as a kid and maybe today, in electronic form.


The game of Clue deals with a murder mystery theme and you must choose a character from the game that lands on a space from the roll of the dice. The players read clues from cards and try to solve the murder. The butler character is the usual suspect I find.

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Parcheesi has home areas with four pawns and each must race along the paths to all get back home. The opponent can block another players pawn from going forward by having two of their pawns occupy a single space. There are many more rules and rewards and its best if four players are involved.


The board game called Sorry is one of my childhood favorites. It has a familiar tactic that uses dice to determine how many spaces a players piece can move. if your piece lands on another players space that they are occupying, then you can tell them "Sorry!" and they have to go back to the starting place. It's a bit vengeful and fun to watch your opponent's face when you send them back!


Scrabble is not like the other race to the finish line type of board games. It is more educational,but not dull,if you like to outwit your opponents. Each player receives seven one inch wooden squares or tiles that has an imprinted letter. The tiles are supposed to be turned over so no one can see what they are getting. They are set up on a wooden holder that allows players to maneuver the tiles to make up words or add their letters to another word on the board. The kids will improve their spelling and vocabulary skills but they will just think it's fun!

Learn something about yourself by playing a game

It’s my feeling that we should try to reconnect as a family, at least once a week, to play a board game. A game night, with no interruptions from cell phone ringing, or texting, no computer games, no X-box, or Bluetooth, or even the dreaded, boob-tube.

Families need to be a family, sit together at the dinner table ,and actually talk to each other. We need to slow down the hurried, activity-packed days and figure out what is important. I feel social skills enrichment is far more important than gaining a lot of material things. Hasn’t the economic crash and recent Wall Street crisis taught us anything about out cultures’ priorities?

Maybe now that most families don’t have a lot of extra spending cash, they will try to go back to basics and learn to enjoy the enjoy the simple pleasures of life again.

Try playing a simple board game like Monopoly ™ or the Game of Life ™ and enjoy each others’ company.

Games We Love

© 2008 Stacie L


Maria from Canada on July 22, 2020:


Stacie L (author) on October 26, 2014:

Shades-of Truth; you really are a board game lover if you went without tv for years! I like Boggle as well.;-)

Emily Tack from USA on October 24, 2014:

I like Boggle, or Master Boogle, the best. We deliberately went without television for years, and played lots and lots of games.

Stacie L (author) on November 15, 2008:

Thank you Benson.I'm glad you like it!

Benson Yeung from Hong Kong on November 15, 2008:

great hub and choice of topic. I'm glad to have found this.

Stacie L (author) on November 12, 2008:

thanks Bruce.Oh yes, I agree that board games aren't the only games that are good. I wanted to concentrate on this first type first and then write about other forms of games. I guess that's another hub in the making;-)

Bruce Elkin from Victoria, BC Canada on November 12, 2008:

HI Stacie,

It's not just board games that our good for us.  Games such as chess and poker (yes, poker) stimulate our mind, use and develop math skills, and develop general skills.  In Canada, 2 provinces have institituted mandatory chess classes in elementary schools. Their math scores have gone from the worst in the country to the best.  And a consortium of Ivy League and International University Law Schools are teaching poker in strategy classes.

I'm numerically dsylexic and shy away from anything with numbers associated with it.  But after a year of playing on -in poker, I am much better with my math -- and way less afriad of it.

So, game on!  Cheers!


Stacie L (author) on November 11, 2008:

Hello Amanda Severn and thank you for your comments. I ,too,love to play Monopoly, Uno and Rummy.The latter , are my favorite cards games.

I think the "Game of Life' is a little more realistic and perhaps be a requirment in high school family life classes. it really teaches the basics.;-)

Amanda Severn from UK on November 11, 2008:

We play Monopoly, or Uno, or just plain old-fashioned Rummy with normal playing cards, usually about once or twice a week with the kids. We always have such a lot of fun with them. It's all too easy just to sit in our separate rooms looking at computer screens or the television, but it's much better to come together as a family and have a bit of fun.

Stacie L (author) on November 11, 2008:

Thanks for the input vitaeb. I'm learning about different games from my readers.

I've never heard of the All game. Did you construct this yourself?

vitaeb from Shenandoah Valley, Virginia on November 11, 2008:

At our place we play a fscinating board game that helps a person to overcome unconcious patterns that no longer serve the life. This game is called The All Game. It's lots of fun and very rewarding. Requires a guide. That's me.

Stacie L (author) on November 08, 2008:

Oh. that's a new one for me! Thanks for participating!;-)

Patricia Costanzo from Behind the Redwood Curtain on November 08, 2008:

My family's favorite is Dread Pirate. Little metal ships, a cloth map, jewels, dubloons even pirate lore. Arrrrrg Matey.

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