Episode 49: Bored Games

January 22, 2010

We were never being boring because we were never being bored.”

So sang the Pet Shop Boys. Somehow I can’t see Neil and Chris playing Monopoly. Then they’d have to change their lyric. Funny how the only thing that can make a boring afternoon more boring is the supposed alleviation of boredom known as the board game.

An almost universal rite of passage in Western culture is the Monopoly endurance test. It’s the lesson every child must learn; that they’ve been lied to and everything they’ve been taught by society is false. This starts with the discovery that the most celebrated board game of all time is the most painfully boring experience of their young life. Even with the neat little metal game pieces.

Yet people persist in playing board games their entire lives (though dads famously refuse to play). Year after year people subject themselves to the bamboo-shoots-under-the-fingernails-torture of Clue, The Game of Life and Trivial Pursuit expecting a respite from boredom which never comes. In recent years the great lie of amusement has expanded to the fun-assassinating “party games” such as Cranium and Embarrass Your Awkward Guests You Douchie Bastards.

In the history of board games there has only ever been two genuinely entertaining pursuits: Sorry! and Scrabble. Games so good they’ve never been repackaged as Movie Editions. Though, actually, I would love to own a Mad Max Sorry!—maybe because it’s almost as absurd a concept as a Tron edition of Scrabble.

Speaking of the Movie Edition trend, there was a time when game companies wanted to cash-in on a movie craze, they actually created a game for that movie. They didn’t just slap “Star Wars” or “Lord of the Rings” on a box of Risk.

I spent many a disappointed (yet in denial about it) hour in my childhood playing Escape the Death Star, Destroy the Death Star, and the simply titled Battlestar Galactica.

Which brings us to…

Mandi grows ever increasingly miffed with BSG. This time she’s upset THIS encounter between Helena “Mole Sauce” Cain and Starbuck didn’t happen in the episode Resurrection.


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