Thursday, October 19, 2006

Got Game?

Crush of the week: Board Games

I'm convinced that there are only two types of people in the world. Those who play board games and those who don't. By my crush you know where I fall. Some of my fondest memories growing up are the hours I spent playing Operation, Monopoly, Life, and countless others. I wonder if the tweens & teens of today are still doing this or are they missing out by spending time online/with video games/Tivo'ing their 300 channels of reality tv(not that I would ever knock TIVO). I really hope not because I think playing bg's are good for instilling a healthy dose of competition, a huge sense of accomplishment when one is the victor, and even the disappointment of losing eases children into the reality that we don't always win em all in life.

I feel that my love of board games is even weaved through my writing. When I was eight I loved spending endless hours in my b/f/f Debbie's family room. Mostly I loved going to her house b/c her parents bought pop and mine didn't so I would get totally loaded on sugar & caffeine. But they also had a huge array of board games where my family just didn't really get into them. We would curl up on the horrible, but very cool at the time, shag carpeting and pull out "the game of all games", my personal favorite, Clue.

This isn't the box for the 1972 edition that we played, but you get the idea. I had a hard time finding good pictures. Anyway, I could play the game for hours or at least until Debbie got bored and wanted to jam out to a Go-Go's record. I fancied myself a young Miss Scarlet. I'm not sure why b/c I'm not dark-haired, or sophisticated. I just saw her sucking on that long cigarette holder thing (not that my asthmatic ridden lungs would ever tolerate a cancer stick) and I wanted to be her.

I couldn't ever be persuaded that anyone other than the evil looking Colonel Mustard was responsible. I just knew the "old decrepit grandpa" look was a cover-up for a murderer! His choice of weapon? Always the candlestick. The room? Duh, the library! I loved marking down my guesses on the little brown notepad and pulling the cards out of the tiny confidential envelope for the reveal.

I'm still a sucker for a good mystery. That's why I try to incorporate at least a little mystery into all of my writing. If I get stuck in a scene I try to make a mental confidential file with all the clues inside. I try to think of what weapon (action) the suspect (my character) would use to and how they would use it (the room) to produce the desired situation (committed the crime). Does that make any sense? I'm a little tired tonight. For example, let's say that the dasterdly Colonel Mustard committed the crime using the candlestick in the library. So if my main character, let's call her Debbie just in case my bff tuned in to read this post, so Debbie(my main character/suspect), wants to piss her boyfriend off (the crime). How would she accomplish this? She could make out(action/weapon) with his bff(the room). Her boyfriends bff goes back and tells him and Debbie's bf is totally PO'd (Debbie's desired situation). Clear as mud? Anyway, it helps me when I get stuck.

So what was your favorite game? What helps you when you get stuck?
If anyone has the 1972 version of Clue in their rummage sale pile somewhere you can send it to me and I'll love you forever! :)

Happy Friday!

All that matters is what's long as your outside is wearing the tiara.REVENGE OF THE HOMECOMING QUEEN, coming from Berkley Jam in July 2007


Simone Elkeles said...

My son got clue for his birthday and LOVES it! (I think he also thinks it's awesome he can solve a murder)

I loved Monopoly and Yatzee(I probably spelled that wrong). I still love them, although I have less time to play.

~Simone Elkeles
How to Ruin a Summer Vacation in bookstores NOW!

Side note: I was at my agents apartment this week and saw an advanced copy of Tina's TOP TEN USES FOR AN UNWORN PROM DRESS (comes out in 2007, I think) and I started reading the first few pages and got hooked on the book right away. I couldn't read the entire book but can't wait until it's in stores!

Me said...

I think we were secretly the same person in our childhood... I love board games and especially Clue. I was always Mrs. White (not because I wanted to a be a frumpy old maid, but because white was my favorite color at the time).

Unfortunately, the only game my family likes to play is Trivial Pursuit--I never had brothers/sisters to play with. When visited Grandma I could sometimes get my aunts to play with me ... usually Mille Bournes (until I annoyed them to death with the bell that comes with the game) or Masterpiece.

What about the Clue movie? Tim Curry ... yummy! And hilarious! (Or is that taking the love too far?)


PS--Steph, there are others like you and they hang out at Board Game Geek.

PPS--You can totally buy a 1972 Clue on eBay for under $20.

TinaFerraro said...

Steph, I had many board game loves, but my numero uno for me was The Game of Life. I loved the "get married", "add twin boys" aspect of it, and of course, turned it into elaborate storylines...

And Simone, WOW, thanks for that endorsement on my book. (Where do I send the check? :))


Kelly (Lynn) Parra said...

Steph, I loved CLUE!! Also the classic, Connect Four. ;) My cousin always made me play Risk, which still bores the heck out of me today, but that's another story. haha!

Simone Elkeles said...

I admit, playing Trivial Pursuit always makes me feel like an idiot because I never know any of the answers.

And Tina, I did contemplate "borrowing" the book, but I'm going to wait for it to come in the bookstores. You'll have to let us know the minute it's out!

~Simone Elkeles
How to Ruin a Summer Vacation in bookstores NOW!

Anonymous said...

One of my favorites was Life. Monopoly always seemed to last for days!
And I'll go on record as saying Tina's book is FABULOUS! A must read for all lovers of YA.


TinaFerraro said...

Thanks, Simone! PROM DRESS is out in a mere 118 days...

And thanks to Janie (who I passed an advanced reader copy to at the SCWBI conference) for the promo! What would a writer do without her friends (who are, of course, completely unbiased in their reviews).


GeminiWisdom said...

I liked everything, but I think I liked Scrabble the most. Coming up with all those words prepared me for becoming a writer.

I hadn't thought of using the game of clue as a way to help with suspense, but when you broke it down like that, I understood it. Very cool. If I get stuck, I put the material away until I hear the voices. Of my characters, that is. Not those other voices

Sara Hantz said...

I love board games, especially Rummicub, Scattagories, Cluedo, Trivial Pursuit.....

TJ Brown said...

I went to a garage sale and found the 1972 version! Perfect shape. And no, I didn't keep it as a collecters item... we played that sucker till it fell apart. My teens love it:)

Marley Gibson said...

That is my old CLUE game. I used to love to be Miss Scarlett and I always loved taking those secret passage ways.

Love Yahtzee and play it online all the time. Although, I must admit a quite unhealthy obsession with online Sudoku. Have you guys tried that?

Marley = )

Kate Fall said...

I love this blog, I'm so glad I found it! My 8 year old loves to play Clue and Mille Bournes, both of which I picked up at garage sales. The old ladies at the table sale where I found Mille Bournes thought a French card game must be tres risque.

My b/f was always Miss Scarlett, my brother was always Prof. Plum, and I was always someone different. The 3 of us played a vicious Monopoly game, too. Honestly, it led to injuries sometimes.