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What Games Do People Play?

Jun 8, 2008
As a child, I played hopscotch. Throw a stone, hop, pick up a stone, repeat. It was a simple game that passed the time and fed my competitive nature. When I took my first cruise, I discovered adult hopscotch - shuffleboard. You play shuffleboard when your hopping days are over - when you shuffle instead of hop.

The first card game I played as a child was Old Maid. Then I progressed to Go Fish and Hearts before moving on to Gin Rummy. When I learned to play Blackjack, I thought I'd made it to the big time. The first time I played Blackjack in Las Vegas I was dealt two aces. The voice in my head said double down and I nervously did what the voice said. This upset the man to my right. I thought he felt threatened by a woman, but he was upset because I'd doubled down on his cards. Although I apologized profusely, the experience made a lasting impression on my life. I haven't leaned to the right since.

In this time of political correctness, however, when a class can't be divided into 1A and 1B because the children in 1B might feel put down and when coffee has to be ordered without cream instead of black, why do children still play Old Maid? Today there are lots of successful women who have chosen not to be married - Condolisa Rice, Oprah Winfrey, Jodie Foster. Today the card game should be called "Maid a Difference".

When I was a child, I didn't play board games like Candyland or Chutes and Ladders. I grew up in a Cribbage family. Cribbage is played by two players with a deck of cards and a board with four pegs to keep score. Cribbage dates back to whaling days when it was likely only two men at a time would be free to play a game. Although a wild card provides a bit of luck, it's primarily a strategic competition. Cribbage spoiled me for Monopoly and Clue. For me those games were bored games.

Then there's Number Place, which remains a puzzle to me. Number Place was invented by an American architect in 1979. In 1986 the Japanese changed the name to Sudoku and Sudoku was an international hit by 2005. Cannon cameras, Sony televisions, Toyota cars - the Japanese have a way of taking an American idea and selling us their version.
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KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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