The hot game in my house this winter has been Settlers of Catan. Teens and adults have visited to play and while the game certainly deserves the acclaim it has received…..seeing those young people huddled around a coffee table game brought back memories of my favorite game from my own teens and twenties…….Trivial Pursuit.
So it looked like family game night was in order to introduce my kids, aged 21 and 14, to one of the classics…..the ultimate battle of knowledge. Joe and I played that game ALL the time in our teens…..and since our kids are pretty darn smart, we were sure they’d love it too! And so we played……..
and two hours later……..Joe and I were winning…..and the kids were seriously pissed off!
Turns out that Trivial Pursuit, circa 1981, offers a bit of an advantage for the almost 50-year-old set. But for the youngsters, the Entertainment and Sports questions were all seriously dated……and in other categories, like Geography, some answers were so outdated that they were now wrong! How can you have a fair battle, when half of the contestants not only don’t know the answers….but they don’t even get the references in most of the questions?
But we played, nonetheless, and so can you……but if you do, prepare yourself for some backlash from the kids. Here’s how it might go…….
Geography Question (for the blue wedge): What country borders Denmark to the South?………… Answer: West Germany.
A child might respond, “WEST Germany?….what the heck is that?”
Well, as a parent, you could use this as a talking point about Communism in Europe and the fall of the Berlin Wall and even about Pink Floyd performing The Wall at the Wall! But don’t expect the kids to let you have that blue pie piece!
Entertainment Question (for the pink wedge): What singer-actress got her start singing in a gay bath house in New York City?……….. Answer: Bette Midler.
“Bette who?” asks a child.
“You know, Bette Midler…..The Divine Miss M.” Your child’s face is a blank. “She’s a movie star,” you continue. “From Mermaids and the First Wives Club and The Rose.” You might even try belting out The Wind Beneath My Wings, but you are not getting the pink pie piece either.
History Question (for the yellow wedge): What is the name of South Africa’s racial policy? ………..Answer: Apartheid.
A young adult child might state, “The tense of the question sounds like it is referring to their current racial policy. (Child’s tone is snarky). Apartheid is NOT the current system…and was, in fact, outlawed before I was born. And while it was discriminatory and caused great harm…..you aren’t getting that yellow wedge either!” (Damn, those kids can be such smart a***es!)
So our family game night needed improvisation. We tried to make it work by adjusting the rules and adding handicaps, like extra turns and and even a “pick a new question” option….but in the end, the frustrated kids gave a mandate…….BUY A NEWER VERSION….of get rid of this game!
So Trivial Pursuit went back to the basement and the Settlers of Catan kept its place as game of choice.
But yesterday I stopped in to Tiki Tiki Board Games, a second-hand game shop in Woodbury NJ. You all know that I am in love with second hand shops. Why buy new when people are tossing out perfectly useful items and when our landfills are filled to the brim? Second-hand shops are environmentally responsible….AND FUN!
And this shop did not disappoint.
Walls and walls of used board games…..plus new games and even rentals for those new games that you like, but aren’t quite ready to commit to just yet. Plus they have bins and bins of loose game pieces. When a perfectly fine game of Battleship is ruined when the warship goes missing…..what can you do? Well, Tiki Tiki can fix that!
And looking at those game pieces, I was struck by guilt remembering the MouseTrap and Operation games that recently went into the trash because of missing pieces! How could I have known that a funny bone could be so easily replaced?
Tiki Tiki is a great shop and it solved my family game night problem, with a 2009 version of Trivial Pursuit, and for a mere six dollars! Bargains and family bonding…….and goodbye generation gap!
So family game night-part deux, will be coming soon! And those kids of mine better not bellyache about that 2009 date! Cause in 2009, Josh was 17 and Jake was 9…..plenty old enough to watch the evening news and to read the daily paper!
If you are a South Jersey local, check out Tiki Tiki Board games and introduce your kids to the favorite games from your own youth. That could make for some nice family time!
And if you like your family time full of squabbles and dissension, they even have a few original Trivial Pursuit games, circa 1981. It might make for an ugly night, but you are pretty much guaranteed to beat the pants off of your kids!
Visit Tiki Tiki’s website here http://tikitikigames.com/ or by clicking on the picture….
and find your own game faves!
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