GAME OF LIFE CERTAINLY HAS FAIR SHARE OF DICEY LESSONS
The venerable old board game is chock-a-block with rules and messages which haven’t aged too gracefully
WHEN it comes to good clean fun, you can’t get more family-friendly than a board game … right?
Wrong. In fact, if you answered in the affirmative, skip a turn and sell the bank your firstborn child.
Settling in for a wild Saturday night last weekend with the husband and kids, we decided to play the Game of Life – that board game classic dating back to 1860.
I collected all the pieces – the bottle of wine, the pizza … oh, and the game board – and we began to learn a serious life lesson in the pursuit of fun.
It’s been yonks since I played and times have changed but the game hasn’t.
According to the archaic rules it’s pretty simple to win at Life. First, you can choose to go into massive debt to further your education (so far, so accurate) so you can land the highest paying job.
All college careers pay well over $100k … obviously these game pieces were not studying a bachelor of arts.
However, if you opt for a non-college career you get way more enjoyable jobs like an actor or singer. So you can win at life without actually winning at Life.
It does feel strange, however, to encourage your child not to go for her dream vet job because being a lawyer pays way better. But that’s a Life lesson there – it doesn’t take long until your dreams are crushed.
A few more spins of the wheel of fortune and it’s time to get married. There is no option in this Life, marriage is compulsory.
My daughter, however, did manage to subvert the authority of those Hasbro bosses by sticking a second pink peg into her game piece car to portray her partner. Clearly she’d be voting “yes” if she was just 10 years older.
Now, Life doesn’t force you to have children, but the game does reward you with $50k per kid … so it’s in your interests to load up that car with little ones. And that’s when I stopped taking Life so seriously.
Having first become a real-life mother exactly 10 years ago, I was blessed with a healthy baby bonus that was alive and kicking.
It was literally a case of lying back and thinking of the queen ... or the coin.
But $50k? I would happily live up to my multikid Catholic heritage if there was any promise of that sort of reward.
Unfortunately, that’s more like what each of them have cost me so far between food, clothes, school and therapy. And then there’s the alcohol. Pretty sure I’ve qualified for the Dan Murphy’s scholarship for self-medication.
Getting on the property ladder is also a fact of Life.
A cruel irony given that in this life you could sell all of your dozen children for $50k each and still be renting a bedsit in Beenleigh.
Humour does play a role in the game, however. My favourite part being when my son drew a card that said he would win $100k if he kept a straight face while we tried to make him laugh.
Preparing himself for our hilarious onslaught, I heard him utter: “Turds are fat.” “What?” I said.
“It’s the funniest thing I can think of,” he explained. “Now I’m ready just in case you say it.”
I paid him the money on the spot. I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in years.
So … what is the point of Life? Essentially, to retire with the most money.
Interestingly, while I finished the game first and was rewarded with a $400k bonus, it was my husband who stayed in the workforce longest who actually won – despite retiring with the smallest bonus.
And ain’t that the truth. You either get all the time with none of the money to enjoy it, or you chase the dollars and then you die.
I’m done with this game called Life.