Game Night

Parcheesi: the ultimate game of strategy

Playing board games with the family has always been a cherished thing. The friendly competitiveness, the ultimate game of chance, the memories made, among family members is what makes family game night a special occasion. It creates bonds and alleviates tensions.

One of my favorite games is Monopoly because of the strategy involved, with how wisely you spend your money and build an empire on the board. The game that requires the most amount of thinking and strategy in my opinion is Clue while the game that requires the least is Cards Against Humanity (it’s just silly matchmaking). Playing board games helps to exercise the brain and develop your decision making skills. You learn to plan ahead. Like in real life, it’s often the decisions you make now that affect how you will be in the future.  The game of LIFE, another great board game, starts off with two big decisions: college or job?

Nostalgia

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Green Glass Door

Now this is a truly inventive game created by a pretty swell person a long time ago.

What goes through these green glass doors? Only those things that are fit for their ambiguous nature. This is a game that I remember playing as a young kid. I believe I was introduced to it in one of my religious ed classes. There were certain things that went in according to a special rule that was chosen by the person doing the talking.

Here’s an example:

I’m going through the green glass doors and I’m bringing cotton candy, but not icecream

I’m going through the green glass doors and I’m bringing the moon, but not the sun.

I’m going through the green glass doors and I’m bringing a puddle, but not water.

I’m going through the green glass doors and I’m bringing boots, but not sandals.

I’m going through the green glass doors and I’m bringing Wallace but not Gromit.

If you figured it out already, the rule is things that have double letters in their names go in, while things that don’t do not. The first time someone played this game with me, I couldn’t get the answer right away but after some thinking the “Aha!” moment arrives.

Glass

Cards Against Humanity

Returning to a racous night

The laughs were coming fast

The most absurd combinations

Disturbing images to last

If I could return to that night

Well, I can’t say it would be the most tranquil

The many offensive, stupid matchups

From bumbling idiots on fire

To presidents popping the pill

This isn’t your normal card game

This has got a little extra spice

So think twice before you play this game

Unless you don’t mind hearing things

That aren’t exactly nice


If you could return to the past to relive a part of your life, either to experience the wonderful bits again, or to do something over, which part of you life would you return to? Why?

Decoy Cake

You walk into your home to find a couple you don’t know sitting in your living room, eating a slice of cake. Tell us what happens next.

They’re eating one slice of cake together? Wouldn’t that be a little hard? I mean, this is one slice so it wouldn’t last very long among two people, definitely not long enough for me to get home from a long day at work and see them carefully savoring every morsel. This may be a newly wedded couple who have somehow drifted into my home (it’s always unlocked) and decided to get into the cake that was sitting in my fridge, reliving that sharing moment again. As is a tradition at weddings, the bride and groom get to eat the first piece of cake together.

Well, when I saw them on the couch, holding one plate of cake between them and looking satisfied with themselves, I most likely would be surprised at their appearance and ask who they are.

And the first words that come out the woman’s mouth are: French!

Yup, so I don’t understand her but her “husband” (it’s not implied if they are actually married) translates for me:

“We’re here to tell you something really important.”

“Oh, what could that be?”

“You seem to owe us something”

My expression turns to one of confusion:

“What?”

“A lot of money”

“I do?”

The man pulls a gun out of his pocket – uh, oh.

“Yes. 20,000 to be exact.”

Holy – where did that come from? Did I make a bet with these people one day and then hit my head on something and black out? Cuz, I don’t remember twenty grand being on my list of to-dos.

“I think you’re making a mistake. I don’t remember owing anybody anything.”

“Think harder.”

I did. I racked my brains, clearing away all the clutter.

And then it hit me. I owe the government money for the loans I borrowed for college. I haven’t paid any of them off. These two are here to collect a debt, two representatives, two beat workers. But bringing a gun? What does he think I’m going to do, just hand over all of that money right now and forever hold my peace? Will he simply be okay with a minor payment? 50 dollars? Why do they need it all right now?

The cake was just a decoy. A conversation piece.

“You sure do…and you’ve got exactly hour to cough up the cash”.

And then I just stood there in silence, the once friendly looking lady now sporting a serious face like her counterpart. One hour? Are you kidding me?

“You may not leave the house – there are guards at the door.”

Wow, this just got a lot more intense. I’ve unknowingly entered my own game of psychological torture. They seem to be really serious but I can’t tell for sure. This might all be just a set-up. I’m on a TV show being pranked. They’re going to get me rifling through phone books and scrambling online for money all for nothing. But I could be wrong. I’m reminded of various horror movies involving these “game” scenarios, where the outcome is either life or death.

As for the rest of the story, well, it’s like those John Hancock commercials that have been going around. You’ll find out the rest online.


In Response to the Daily Prompt: Unexpected Guests

5 Things I Remember From the 90s

5thingsthursday

Welcome to the second edition of 5 Things Thursday, where I dive into five interesting things from one interesting group of my choice.

This week I muse about 5 things that I find nostalgic from my 1990s childhood. It was a wild and fun time, with so many fads and waves of pop culture coming and going as quick as a train.

  1. Nintendo 64

A great game console that ushered in the era of 3D gaming, especially for Nintendo. It was a sleek and stylish “Family game system”. Some of my favorite titles for the 64 were the Mario Party and Mario Kart series (the early games), Super Smash Bros, and Donkey Kong 64. I never actually had that many games for my console, choosing to play some of the favorites over and over again. That infamous controller caused a lot of pain for users when they got blisters from violently moving the joystick around. I had that same problem while playing the challenging mini-games of Mario Party.

2. Bill Nye the Science Guy

What would science class be without our beloved bow-tie all-around science genius? I loved when the teacher would announce that we were going to watch Bill Nye, as well as the rest of the class. Hearing the iconic theme song (“Science Rules!”) really got me interested in learning about science and everything else such as biology and geography. The show had a great mix of education and humor, appealing to kids and adults. Everything from “Consider the following” to the cheesy science renditions of popular songs back then made this a part of ’90s pop culture. Okay, I hated the cheesy music videos.

3. The Oregon Trail

This is a game I loved and hated. The fact that it was SO slow and the difficulty in finishing the game quite high made me want to give up on it completely. But nearly every kid in my classes at elementary loved this game, that I just had to join in. It was really educational and taught me about the Oregon Trail and what the families faced while riding it – a lot of bad stuff I must say. “You’ve got dysentery” – more evil and unforgiving than the “Game Over” screen.

4. M.A.S.H games, Cootie Catchers, Paper airplanes, etc.

All three of those things and others were staples of the classroom from about second to fifth grade. It was fun to predict your future through a game of Mansion Apartment Shack House (MASH) and the outcomes caused laughter or embarrassment depending on the person. Or how about the cootie catcher. I loved creating those and putting down the most absurd possibilities. Even though it was more of a girls game, it was entertaining and invoked lots of socializing. The paper airplanes usually came out during break periods in class and all pandemonium was let loose. I remember this one sandy-haired kid putting a load of orange goop on the side of his plane and flying it across the room. Sometimes one would land on the teacher’s desk or hit them and break time would be over. To this day though I still can’t create the perfect paper airplane, since my wings always come out wrong and the plane drops limply to the ground.

5. Myst

This is likely the most challenging and strangest point and click game I’ve ever come across. And the most realistically looking one. There is just one man on the island, controlled by you. There are a bunch of puzzles that have to be solved and clues are scattered around, some in not so obvious places or ways. The first time I played this in 1999, I was lost and a bit creeped out by the secluded island and those books in the library that had strange messages playing from them. I finally beat this in 2011 through the use of cheats since there was no way I was going to solve this brainteaser of a game otherwise. It didn’t ruin the game because I still appreciated the vagueness and depth of it (there were some interesting backstories told through the books). When I played this I always thought there was someone else on the island watching me or going to sneak up on me at any moment but that was not the case.

Remember My Name

The little light in the darkness, I’m running towards it, the excitement pulsing through my veins, finally able to see glory. The sound of a crowd cheering, roaring my name, growing from a faint whisper to a sound on the level of a jet engine. Crunch, crunch, crunch, the sound of the gravel goes as I run towards the bright spot. I want them to remember my name, to know who I am. Once I am out in the open, I will proclaim my status, will command them to praise and rejoice in my presence. The crowd is waiting for my arrival. I’m stumbling besides the tracks, my heart beating like a metronome, breath coming in short, painful gasps. Arms flailing, sweat drops rolling on my forehead. I push myself further on, fighting through the pain, until I reach the light, run straight through it, but what do I find? In the name of this post, I would call it blog heaven or blog nirvana, reaching viral fame for the first time.

Today the prompt has asked for us, in the event of viral fame, to write a post we’d like others to remember us byI have a lot of posts in my depository that could be worthy of immortal status, many of them you have never read yet. Many of them are photography related (which received the majority of the “likes” on this blog), some are attempts at poetry – long, short, rhyme, free-verse, haiku. The majority of my posts came from responding to the Daily Prompt, which I treat as the starting points for unleashing the full potential of this blog. I have to say I’ve come a long way since beginning this blog in 2013 on a desktop computer. It now runs faithfully from a Windows 8.1 Toshiba laptop that isn’t perfect but gets the job done. You are free to search through my archives in order to find some great posts I have published in the past, though don’t take them by face value, I was just getting started, hadn’t found my edge yet.

I made a bold attempt at playing Pac-Man today and beating all 256 levels. I think the highest level I’d gotten to in the past was ten. The hard thing about this classic 80s game is that the ghosts get faster and smarter after about the third level. Once the red ghost, Blinky, gets on your ass at around the twelfth level, you have no chance of escaping unless you get to one of the side tunnels in time. Well, the thing is, I’m playing an online version (it’s on pause right now) with the ability to save your progress and I’ve made it pretty far in the game, though I have no idea what level number I’m on, so I guess you can say I’m not really beating Pac-Man (I died about one hundred times), I’m taking advantage of a feature that dumbs down the integrity of the original game. Even with the save feature, I have to be careful not to save my progress and get what I call a “death trap” e.g saving while being cornered by two ghosts, unable to get out it when reloading. It would be neat to reach the final level (not sure if it would be the original ‘Kill Screen”) but I wouldn’t feel total elation because it would be an illegitimate win, one with a safety net down the whole time, and no one would recognize me anyway. But the sound of viral fame spreading like wildfire if I did, in fact, complete the original game on camera (along with getting the highest score possible) without the save feature would be warm, cheerful, and enthusiastic. A regular Billy Mitchell.

The name of this post being inspired by the promotional tagline for the final season of Breaking Bad, if my blog went viral, I would feel incredibly accomplished, amazingly joyful. But I wouldn’t just stop there and believe I was finished with my work because my blog had reached its ultimate goal. I would keep doing what I love, not changing just because of the pressure to continue to impress a much larger audience than before. Yes, there would be pressure to keep this thing up if I broke through the darkness and reached blog heaven, and the fear that I would eventually fall from the top of the mountain, which is inevitable, but it would still be a dream come true. To have people remember me by just one post is not enough. I want to be remembered for everything I’ve done, all the work I’ve accomplished to reach viral status. All of my collective works would be nothing without learning and relearning, reinventing myself everytime something starts to not work anymore. Is viral fame overrated? Perhaps. How long will you be relevant in the public’s eye before you eventually fade away, being replaced by the next best thing? How much work you do have to do to keep the fire burning? If my blog was in digital lights, I would feel well appreciated and thankful, but at the same time would know that no one stays at the top forever. I’ve never had anything of mine “break the Internet”, a term coined for Kim Kardashian’s nude photo shoot attempt at doing so, and even if I never get to have that honor, I would still feel happy with how much I’ve done, how much I’ve learned, and all the fun I’ve had participating in this worldwide wide activity we call blogging.


In Response to the Daily Prompt: For Posterity

WPC: Ducks on the Pond

Day 170
Which duck will bring you luck?

Duck, duck, goose
Who will lose?
Not me, I thought
But this old game from childhood
Still resonates in my mind
Never again to be seen
And that is just fine

Ducks on the pond
A little game at the fair
Toss a ring
Ring a duck
Win a prize
It’s all dumb luck

What do you get?
Nothing that special
Maybe a big stuffed bear
Maybe a bouncy hammer
Stuff, in my ripe age
Could care less about
Might tease around a bit
And then throw out

I love going to the fair
Being part of all the fun raucous
But as far as those carnies
Getting me to play their silly games
Like duckies featured here
Well, let me tell you
How I will simply save my money
For another year


Weekly Photo Challenge: Yellow II