Originally uploaded by josephine annika
I just was really struck by this image this morning... it's my prayer today.
Everything including the kitchen sink... but with special attention paid to board games, Jesus Christ, my family, being a "professional" (and I use that word loosely) Christian, and the random firing of the 10% of the synapses I'm currently using.
On your turn, another player flips the (roughly) 1 minute timer over and you begin flipping the over-sized cards & completing as many tasks as you can before time runs out. Once you finish a task, you can flip another card or call "Stop!" - of course, if you don't call "Stop!" before the time runs out, you get no treasure (points) for this turn. (Ouch.) Each player gets three turns... and the person with the most treasure at the end of the game wins.It's amazingly simple to teach - once you explain the timer, you take the first turn & they'll figure most of the game out. Kids love the frenetic activity... but don't count adults out. I've tried this with numerous groups of adults only, always with success. The rules contain a couple of great variants to tune the game to your taste:
I've also used this with my 4 year old as an experience/imagination game - we each took turns doing 10 cards and just had fun.
The changes in the game mean that experienced players (well, folks who've played the game once before) can knock out a game in 30 minutes. It's simple enough that a 6 year old can play it - but there's enough game here that adults can enjoy it with kids.
Mark, your lists are great and very helpful,. How about a list of good games that you can actually go to a local store and pick up instead of purchasing them by mail order via Germany or somewhere else? Just a thought.I decided to respond here with a blog post rather than confine my answer to the comments section... as I think this is a really good question. However, there are a couple of problems with answering it. #1 - What do you mean by "local store"? Most folks buy games at their local "big box" store - Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, etc. Your average American has easy access to these kinds of stores - but while the prices are good, the selection is pretty slim. You can find some of the better Gamewright card games along with both the good & bad Cranium games for kids (Cariboo & Hullabaloo = good, Squawkbox games = bad). Of course they stock the Hasbro games, which have a few neat items (the newest version of Risk, Sorry! Sliders, the Bop It! toy/game, etc.) but a whole lot more of the "themed versions of classic games" kind of thing. If you live in a larger city or nearby suburbs, you probably have an upscale toy store in your area. Depending on who runs the store, they are likely to stock Ravensburger, Haba & Selecta games, along with the full Gamewright line. Prices are usually retail (or higher, depending on their overhead), however. Again, in larger cities or suburbs, you may have access to a store that sells board & card games. Those stores will almost certainly stock Rio Grande Games (who publishes or distributes a number of kid games in addition to the more gamer-oriented heart of their line). They are less likely to stock games you can find in the "big box" stores as they can't compete on price. With all that said, it's important to note that really good, well-stocked game stores and upscale toy stores with a wide variety of board & card games are a rarity. Here in Fresno (a town of nearly 500,000 people), there are only two game stores and neither of them does a good job of stocking kid games. There are a couple of high-end toy stores that will order Haba games for me, but they don't typically stock them. #2 - What's the problem with online shopping/mail order? I understand the whole "buy local/keep the tax revenue local" emphasis - but if there isn't anyone local who stocks that item, it's not like I was going to make the purchase here in the first place. But maybe that's not your problem with what you call "mail order." Maybe you're worrying since so many of these games have foreign-sounding names that the only way to get them is from across the Atlantic. First, all of the Haba & Selecta games are multi-lingual. They do not have text on the pieces or board and they come with rulebooks printed in multiple languages - thankfully for those of us with English as our native tongue, it's always in there. Ravensburger games printed with an English name have English rules & components included. Second, I don't order very much directly from Germany any longer... while it was once quite lucrative (thanks to a strong dollar & the overseas ability to not pay the VAT) to buy games from Germany, that situation has changed. As well, many of the really good German games are now re-published in English, thanks to Rio Grande, Mayfair & a host of other companies. I do order from a number of different online retailers here in the U.S.
I have done business multiple times with all of these folks & recommend them without reservation.So, you asked about a list... I combed through the Kid Games 100 to come up with a list of games that are (a) in print, and (b) available for purchase at your local store (with the caveat that YOUR local store may not carry them.) I've divided the list into four groups (by type of store) and added some notes to some of the games. Game Stores
Upscale Toy Stores
In the process of researching this post, I found a new blog about board games that speaks to Paul's question: The Game Aisle by Kim Vandenbroucke.
Will I buy all of these? Of course not. But I want to play all of them - and I'll happy try others as well!
BTW, somebody will ask "where's the Haba releases?" Most of them were released earlier this year to make them eligible for the Spiel des Jahres. There may be others, but BGN hasn't reported on them... yet.
Momentarily - As you come into land at an American airport and the announcement says that you will be landing momentarily, look around to see if anyone is sniggering. That will be the Brits! I never did figure out why they say this. Momentarily to us means that something will only happen for an instant - a very short space of time. So if the plane lands momentarily will there be enough time for anyone to get off? Weird!In a similar vein, I once told Collin (my 4 year old son) that I needed to break him of a bad habit that he had. Tears welled up in his eyes as he said, "Dad, don't break me." Now you're properly prepared for the rest of this post. I was studying & reading yesterday for my message/talk/sermon (pick your favorite - "long-winded diatribe" is NOT one of the choices) and began searching for an Erwin McManus quote. Thanks to the joys of Googling, I not only managed to uncover some great quotes, I also found a group of individuals who are very angry with Erwin and have spend an amazing amount of time writing about it. Now, I'm a part of the online community of boardgame players/collectors, so I've seen obsessive behavior before - the "Eurosnoot vs Ameritrash" argument (don't ask - it's just as stupid as it sounds) chewed up great swaths of bandwidth & emotional energy while generating more heat than light. The Erwin haters, my friends, are some pretty obsessed folks... they'd fit nicely into a discussion of whether Go or Chess is the "deeper" game. I'm not going to get into a detailed analysis of their problems with Erwin (a pastor & writer who I admire deeply) - that's not really the point today. I will suggest, however, that there are two possible syndromes that explain this behavior:
Then they put their hands over their ears and began shouting. They rushed at him and dragged him out of the city and began to stone him.I'm not suggesting that anyone is headed to Erwin's house for a drive-by stoning... just that the same kind of "stick my fingers in my ears & attack" tendency seems to be present here. Now, I'm not finished yet. It's one thing when folks have "Royal Wedding" Syndrome over an author. It's another thing when they do it with their lives. I'm convinced that many of us (and I include myself here) want for everything in our lives to be nailed down solid... so that when life sends us spinning, we can dance on the ceiling without a care. Nothing will be broken, nothing will change... and when our life rights itself, when it returns to "normal", everything will be exactly where we put it. But an unexpected death or being laid off or your daughter getting pregnant or the onset of depression or a hundred other things quickly end that illusion. When the room of your life begins to turn, nothing stays still. Things crash to the floor and you're reduced to hanging on for dear life. No magical dancing through a wonderland secured by roofing nails & wood glue for you. As I've been mulling this over, I realized that I'm trusting the adhesives & the hardware to hold my life together - my plans, my nest egg, my house, my possessions, my job - rather than trusting Jesus with all of that stuff... and with me. I want those things to get locked in place because I think that I can hold onto them when trouble starts. I'm not suggesting that you live in your car or pull a St. Francis & strip yourself naked. I am suggesting that trusting in any of this stuff is foolish - because it doesn't have the strength to support you when life gets rough. The challenge is (to quote the Southern-fried rock band, 38 Special) to "hold on loosely." And we can do that because Jesus promises to "hold on tightly" to us.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."Take a look at that passage (Hebrews 13:5-6) in the Amplified Version... talk about making the point clear!
He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified].One last question for thought: what if the stuff in our lives getting moved around and/or broken is a good thing? Ask Dave Zener about getting fired 55+ years ago... or offer to buy me a milkshake and hear the story of how closing the church I planted started the deepest spiritual growth in my life. Ah, but those are stories for another time...
And a couple of things that are making me cranky when I look at the TV schedule:
Mark Buchanan, The Rest of God
The attraction of legalism is that, despite all its complexity, it's mindless. It requires little or no personal engagement. It's sheer mechanics, simple arithmetic, no more difficult than cranking a hoist or measuring a length of board. You just follow orders. You match the parts to the diagram & apply pressure. It need draw nothing from your heart, your mind, your strength, your soul. It's like paint-by-numbers: it requires no artistry, no imagination, no discipline, just dumb, methodical obedience.
And the attraction of legalism is its inherent rewards. Legalism feels good, in a perverse sort of way. It strokes our egos, fills us with the pleasure of achievement, knowing we spelled all the words correctly, and in such a nice, tidy script to boot. And it's even better if we accomplish this where others have failed. It's like winning a race: it wouldn't mean half as much - indeed, it wouldn't mean anything - if our triumph didn't imply others' losses. The secret impetus behind legalism is its competitiveness. The point is not just to win: it's to beat everyone else. Read "beat" in that last line however you wish.
The curious thing about legalism is that you might look at a legalist and a person walking in grace and at times not be able to tell them apart. They could very well be doing the same exact things. The difference lies not on the outside but on the inside, in the realm of motivation. Why is he or she doing it? A person is a legalist, therefore, not necessarily because of what they do or do not do, but because of why they do or don’t do it.
Neil Anderson,Breaking the Bondage of Legalism
And they tell us we can save ourselves, but that isn’t very good news/Because if I could have, I would have saved myself/I wouldn’t need you like I do...Rick Elias, "I Wouldn't Need You" from the album 10 STORIES
I want to hate what God hates and love what God loves. And this I know beyond the shadow of a doubt: God hates legalism as much as he hates alcoholism.... Legalism is a more dangerous disease than alcoholism because it doesn’t look like one.
- Alcoholism makes men fail; legalism helps them succeed in the world.
- Alcoholism makes men depend on the bottle; legalism makes them self-sufficient, depending on no one.
- Alcoholism destroys moral resolve; legalism gives it strength.
- Alcoholics don’t feel welcome in church; legalists love to hear their morality extolled in church.
John Piper, Brothers, We Are Not Professionals
As my father’s unit moved inland on their bicycles, the man in the lead position was shot through the head. The troops took cover and then the captain told my father to approach the village ahead. He didn’t want my father to take a stealth approach but to walk down the open road. With a sinking feeling, my father understood that his mission was to draw German fire so the captain could see where it was coming from. Realizing that there was no time to do more careful reconnaissance, my father accepted what he saw as a likely death sentence.Here's the movie scene that inspired my first break-up... and gave this post a title: My first "girlfriend" (who wasn't really a girlfriend in the "kissy-kissy-suck face" kind of way but actually a girl which I had a wicked crush on who enjoyed my presence & friendship) loved "Gone With The Wind"... in fact, she's the person who introduced it to me. (She also introduced me to the musical "Evita" & the Beatles' "White album".) Watching that scene finally inspired me to walk away from this one-way relationship... though not with the snarky anger of the songs I want to highlight. Looking back some 30+ years (wow, that was a LONG time ago), I realize that I wanted something from this young lady that she wasn't interested in giving... and that was her right. My interest in her didn't mandate her response. In my puppy-dog crush, I missed out on continuing a really great friendship. Wow, this post has taken a turn I didn't expect it to... hmmm. So, back to the humorous break-up songs!
“All that training going to waste,” he lamented. Then he remembered having seen Gunga Din in which Cary Grant, surrounded by the enemy, says coolly, “You are all under arrest.” That inspired my father as he strode down the center of the road, shouting in German: “Surrender, all of you! Come out! You are completely surrounded and don’t have a chance!”
For a time all was silent. Then a German soldier popped up from behind a parapet and fired. My father dropped to his knee and fired back. Each missed the other. My father’s gun jammed. The German dove for cover. My father went flat on his stomach to clear his gun. As he prepared to shoot again he heard a noise and there, behind him, his entire troop was charging, bayonets fixed. The soldier in the lead shot two enemy soldiers concealed in a ditch to the left of the road, each with a belt-fed German machine gun.(from an excellent article by Kim Masters entitled "My Father, The Inglourious Basterd" - go read the whole thing!)