Get a Clue: Playing Games with the Kids

I love playing games almost as much as I love writing blogs about playing games.  Come to think of it, this may be the first post I’ve written about playing a game.  Let’s start again.

I love playing games almost as much as I love writing about my failed fitness goals.  OK, while that sentence is completely in line with my love for board games it just doesn’t work as a conveyance for my true love of family game night.  One last time…

I love playing games about as much as I love gin.

Now that’s love.

For Christmas, my kids received a copy of the classic board game “Clue”.  I was actually excited to sit down with them and play.  They have no idea that their old man gets all cut-throat when it’s game time.  I think it’s all the aggression I never got to take out on the field.  That’s because I never played sports.  In other words, I’m a dork.  But I’m smart so I like to wipe up the floor with losers people who engage me in a good game.

The murder mansion…  I always wanted a secret passage.

My all time favorite is Trivial Pursuit.  I have owned every genus of this game over the years.  I remember as a kid who my parents and older siblings would play this one on a Saturday night.  I so desperately wanted to be part of the older crowd.  I also possess an incredible memory.  Most of my knowledge is purely useless.  Couple all that together and I’m the perfect Trivial Pursuit player.  I can look at a handful of cards and years later I can tell you what they said.  The only person who can rival my skill at TP is my older sister.  She and I used to stay up for hours on any given weekend playing five or six straight games of it.

But I like other board games as well.  When I was young I, too, had a copy of Clue.  And looking back I wonder why.

Intense family game night…

If you’re not familiar, Clue is a game who’s very premise is predicated upon the most family-friendly of topics – murder.  Who thought this up?

I took the game out of the box and began to wonder what we were teaching our kids by playing this.  And then I began to wonder something else…

What happened to Clue?

The characters have changed.  As a kid I remember I always wanted to be Colonel Mustard.  I don’t know why but he just seemed cool to me.  He had a monocle and an awesome mustache.  He just seemed like the suave type of killer, I mean, gentleman who would have a cocktail and a cigar while regaling a group of party-goers with stories of his safari.  Then there was Miss Scarlet.  She looked like Scarlet O’Hara – glamorous, sultry, just enough slut-factor to be intimidating to young boys and yet intriguing at the same time.  Again, who thought this was a good idea for a board game?  Mrs. White looked like a cross between Angela Lansbury and a French maid.  Professor Plum smoked a pipe, the jolly old man, and therefore could not have killed anyone.

Each of the characters were color-matched to their names.

Not so much in the updated version.  I started taking pieces and cards out of the box while searching for the instructions.  It’s been so long since my wife or I had played this that we kind of forgot the rules.  Wouldn’t you know that these characters, keeping the same color-themed names, are suddenly all hipsters?  Gone are the titles Mister, Miss, Colonel, etc.  Now the players are simply Green, Peacock, Mustard, et al.

What’s this?  A makeover?

Even more frightening was their appearance.  My character, Mustard, looks like he might actually murder someone if he could tear himself away from a Smirnoff Ice at the club long enough.  Green might be a rapist if he could tear himself away from Plum long enough.  White still looks like a cross between Angela Lansbury and a French maid.

And the weapons…  My beautiful six year-old daughter tried her best but God bless her, she just couldn’t grasp the concept at first.  Forgetting to look at her score sheet (and thus accusing a player who could not possibly be the killer) she pointed her finger at Mustard and said:

“I accuse Mustard… in the kitchen… with the…”

“Wait, Daddy, what’s this thing??” she said, pointing to a blunt but boring looking murder weapon.  “It’s a lead pipe, sweetheart,” I replied.  “Who kills someone with a lead pipe?  What’s a lead pipe anyway?” she shot back.  I was just about to explain the Nancy Kerrigan-Tonya Harding affair to her when she peaked in the envelope and realized something very important.

A tiny revolver.  J’accuse!

Sometimes daddies screw up.  I had forgotten to separate the cards by murderer, weapon, and room.  My daughter’s accusation couldn’t be correct.  That’s because this game of Clue had TWO hipster murderers AND no weapon!  “How is that possible?!” blurted my son in shock.

“It’s the millenials, son.  Lazy, shiftless, can’t carry out a crime despite 12 seasons of SVU on Netflix.”

My children thoroughly confused, I cleared the board and declared victory.

And then I found five dollars.*


*I also got a copy of the Urban Dictionary Game for Christmas.

2 responses to “Get a Clue: Playing Games with the Kids

  1. We play UNO with the grandkids – boy, are they competitive!
    Not sure I like the new look of Clue – I think “Ms.” White looks like a Charlie’s Angel………the guy in the picture reminds me of “Pajama Boy.”

  2. Pingback: The Half-Anniversary | Harvey Millican: Raising Your Kids Without Lowering Your IQ

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