As a child, I can scarcely remember an occasion when a meal at my grandparents was not followed by a round of Clue or Connect 4.
It is a crying shame that traditional board games such as these are being replaced in our children’s lives by computer-based activities. I find it hard to imagine my children sitting down with grandma for a few games of Need for Speed or FIFA. This is why it is important to keep the games of our childhood alive through our own kids.
How many happy memories do you have of family games of Scrabble as a child? Arguing with your sister over how you spell queue or keeping an eye on granddad to make sure he isn’t cheating again creates real closeness between family members, and it seems a shame that this is being replaced by the largely-solitary pursuit of computer gaming in our children’s lives.
This may all just be me thinking with my nostalgia-tinged glasses on again, but I have always enjoyed the tactile quality of board games too. There is something quite satisfying about the elaborate setting up games like Mouse Trap needed before you could get down to the serious task of playing them.
Despite this, without doubt my favourite board game ever has to be Cluedo. I think I loved it originally because my sister hated it and I just wanted to be contrary, but after a while it took top spot on its own merit. Whereas in many board games your success is as much down to chance as it is to skill, Cluedo required cunning and strategy, and a Cluedo victory always tasted somehow sweeter than any other.
I know my children are both asking for computer games this Christmas, but I am going to make sure I get them a classic board game each too. Then, when the turkey is bare and the crackers have been pulled, I will make sure we all stay around the table and have a huge family game of Monopoly.
It is childhood moments such as this which you recall fondly as an adult pulling a dusty game out from the back of a cupboard, and I hope by creating the situation for my children they may repeat this process when they are older.