Sunday, January 20, 2008
With all the snow we're having here in Spokane this winter, nothing sounds like more fun than gathering the family around the table to play a few games on a winter evening. Here in the Midkiff house, we have three shelves full of board and card games, a collection my husband started building not long after we were married. He wanted to have a variety for our future family to choose from for family nights. We don't play as often as we used to, so maybe it's time we started that back up. A Midkiff family tradition we've started and continue every summer is to play Balderdash nearly every evening of our week up at the lake with my brother-in-law's family. My brother-in-law usually comes up with the funniest definitions, but I usually end up winning! We always get silly and adults and kids alike thoroughly enjoy this tradition!
When I was in college, our high school and college youth group enjoyed playing Spoons, Charades, and especially Pictionary, long before the latter became a board game. It was supposedly created by Gonzaga University students here in Spokane.
*Did you have a regular game night or family night?
*What games (board, card, dice, or acting out) did your family enjoy? Was there a favorite you played time after time?
*Did your family have a family or game room? What was it like? What kind of game equipment did it have (foosball, pool table, etc.)?
*Do you have any funny stories or a particular memory (good or bad) that stands out of game-playing time?
*What's the first game you remember playing?
*Were there any games you disliked? Why?
*Were there any games that were not allowed to be played? Why?
*Did your parents have a regular night when they would play games or cards with friends or extended family?
*Did you ever have game nights with groups, clubs, or neighbors on a regular basis?
*Was game playing associated with certain annual events, like holidays, birthdays, or vacation times?
*What kinds of snacks and beverages were enjoyed during game playing?
*Were there prizes awarded to game winners or even to losers? What kinds? Did everyone chip in towards purchasing the prizes?
*Did your family or you ever do jigsaw puzzles? What's the largest--in terms of number of puzzle pieces--jigsaw puzzle you've completed?
*What did you do with completed puzzles? Did you display them or simply put them away?
*What about puzzles such as crosswords, cryptograms, or others found in puzzle books? Are you a Sudoku fiend?
*Did you ever go to an arcade and play pinball machines or other arcade-style games? Or did you ever shoot pool?
*Do you remember seeing your first video game, either in an arcade or on a television (Pong, Atari or early Nintendo games)?
*What kinds of video games did you like to play, if any? Do you play any now (gaming station or handheld)?
*What was your first computer game? Do you ever play computer games now, either on your computer or online?
*What about the present? Does your family or do you personally play games or do puzzles? Do you participate in game nights with others, such as poker or Bunco?
*Here are some other game ideas to write about: lawn games (horseshoes, croquet, badminton); kid games (marbles, jacks); betting, casino games, and bingo; party games (pinata, pin the tail on the donkey), etc.
*What do you know about your parents', grandparents', or perhaps even great-grandparents' game playing? Do you remember them saying anything about games they played when they were young?
*Do you have any photos of either your present or your childhood families playing games? What about ancestral photos?
I'll have more prompts about other family times in next week's post.