When you have kids, you want to do things together that will become memories they will cherish later in life. While going on a big trip might pop to mind for many, I believe that it is really the little traditions which form a solid base of memories. One thing I recall from my youth and try to encourage with my family is building bonds with family game night.
My Memories of Family Game Night
While we didn’t own every board game around, my parents had a shelf full in the front hall closet. Some were favorites that saw action on a regular basis and others ended up collecting dust. However, what isn’t collecting dust are the memories of time spent at the kitchen table or on the floor around the coffee table playing a game together as a family. I’ve tried to set the stage for this by having shelves of board games in our school / play room.
One of our go to games as a child was Monopoly. Between jockeying for who would be the banker (and get to control the play money) and seeing how some people became tycoons who’d rob you blind when you landed on their real estate, it made for a wonderful evening together as a family. I have one sister whose sometimes obsessive attention to detail had her winning more often than not.
Another that became a favorite as we grew a bit older was Scrabble. It was so much fun to see who could really dig deep into their burgeoning vocabulary to get words which yielded more points than simple ones might.
Where the bonds between us were made during those family game nights was in the conversations that flowed during the game. This was especially true when grandparents came to visit and would join us at the table. Yahtzee was my paternal grandparents favorite game to play with us and there are days that just hearing the dice moving around in the plastic jar tugs at my heart strings.
Technology Leads to a New Family Game Night
Although we own several board games, I find that we do not play them nearly as much as I did growing up. The boys all went through phases of raiding a board game for certain pieces (e.g. the play money) so that when you go to play the game is missing what you needed. Frustration sets in and before you know it the whole idea of family game night goes out the window.
With the boys loving video games, especially on the XBOX 360, I have been seeing a shift towards a new kind of family game night. Instead of sitting at the kitchen table, we are spread out in our main space so everyone can see the screen for whatever video game is being played.
Monopoly is one of those games that the boys enjoyed, but had too much potential for a mess they wouldn’t pick up or we’d find the amount of play money left to be inadequate for playing with a full consort of people. I was excited to hear about the new Hasbro Game Channel with the release of classic board games optimized for the new passion of video game play. They are offering the ability to download games based on Hasbro’s most popular brands, including MONOPOLY, RISK, and TRIVIAL PURSUIT, for Xbox One, video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, and PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system. All games will also be available for download individually on the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system
The first game which has been released is MONOPOLY Plus. The 2D board we are familiar with gets a face lift as it is made into a colorful and lively animated 3D version which evolves as you progress in the game.
Eager to see if bringing the classic board game to a new video game platform would be well received, we downloaded it to the XBOX 360. The younger boys had already looked over my shoulder at screenshots of it and were anxious to see if it was as much fun to play as it was to view. After all, colorful images do not guarantee a good game playing experience.
If there whining to keep playing after dad asked them to get off is any indication, I think we have a new winner in the house. The kids like the new platform and ability for up to 6 players in a game whether online or offline. The 3D animation lends a whole different feel for the game. And this mom loves that it all lives on the XBOX so there is nothing to help clutter up the house. I’d call that a win – win!
Now I am going to be eagerly anticipating the release of RISK for the XBOX 360 as that is a board game I’ve had to pick up off the floor more times than I care to count….
Did you play Monopoly growing up or now with your own family?
Is family game night something you integrate into your life?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.