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Subject: How do you feel about "lousy kids games"? rss

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Billy McBoatface
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Recently I've been playing a lot of War with my daughters. Yes, war. Yes, the card game that can run on for hours where all you ever do is flip a card and see whose is higher. I know that this game is not well-liked on BGG, and with good reason, but my daughters enjoy it so I go ahead and play it with them. To make the game bearable I deal out only half the cards (for a 2p game) or have a rule "first player out of cards, we count, player with the most wins" (for 3p or 4p games).

This has led me to wonder, what is your attitude towards a truly awful game when you children ask to play it?
Poll: How do you handle horrible children's games?
Pick what you do most often.
When your kids ask to play a tedious, boring, awful kids game (ie, "War"), what is your typical response?
My kids could ask me to bash my head in and I'd be happy to do so. Any game they ask, I happily play, for as long as they want!
I grit my teeth and play. If it runs on too long, I make an excuse to stop the game.
I try to fix the rules to make sure it doesn't last too horribly long, then play.
I'll try to talk them into something better, but if I can't, then sure, I'll play along for as long as I can stand.
No way am I going to play a lousy game. If my kids won't play something good, they'll have to play without me.
      77 answers
Poll created by wmshub
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Richard S
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I don't have kids of my own, but I have no problem playing "truly aweful" games with friends' kids and relatives. You just have to go in with the mind set that it is not a game in the sense that your mind now thinks of games but more like any other kid activity (playing house, finger painting, etc.)
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If Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Then Actions x2 Speak Louder Than Actions
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I pick, "Enjoy the time spent with my kids and love watching them have fun in their own way."
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Scott A. Reed
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I'd get them sprayed quick, and get some of the special shampoo.
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Scott Russell
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I went out and bought a bunch of good kids games. cool


If they like war, try Alien Hotshots. It's like war, but adds some decisions. (It also has a smaller deck..... )

I checked the fourth one, but as my youngest has gotten older, I'll often do the fifth one, instead.
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Man thinks, the river flows.
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    "Hey guys -- there's Billy! He plays Schotten Totten instead of Checkers! Let's kick his ass!"

    Nudge, don't lead.

             Sag.



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Chris Ferejohn
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Sagrilarus wrote:

    "Hey guys -- there's Billy! He plays Schotten Totten instead of Checkers! Let's kick his ass!"


...because Checkers players are such brutes...
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Guy Riessen
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If I can grit my teeth and play Powergrid with the game group, when I'd much rather play 18xx or Brass or any number of others, I can easily play an epic game of War, or more likely now, 378 games in a row of Diamant with my daughter...and I'll enjoy it 10X more too!
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Aerek Argot
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Iowa
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I always try to make up better versions of lousy games that are still easy enough for the age group, but not mind numbing for me. War, the atrocity that it is, is the game that motivated me into game design. I've also improved some dull card games my wife's family likes to play.
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Society of Watchers
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Well, I'm an early childhood teacher. It's great if you can get the kids to play games with each other - any kind of game. However, often times children love to play Heads Up Seven Up - which I really don't like, but have to generally referee. With class sizes nowadays, I often have to make it Heads Up Four Up, though. I much prefer when they have to something more intriguing like Around the World - especially if I can get them to do it for something like Social Studies or Science, rather than Math - Math is rather boring too.
 
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Driver 8
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My strategy is to "cleane and burn" all the lousy kids games from my house. That way the only games my son will know are the good ones. Not sure if it'll work, but I figure that following in the steps of Nazi book burning can't hurt, right?
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Ben Lott
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I have no kids, but whatever my friends' kids want to play is fine with me. Right now my good friend's 1-year-old daughter likes to play a game called "I'll bring you every book I own and you must read me every single one." Sure the books would be mind-numbingly boring to me, but I wouldn't trade the smiles on her cute little face for anything.
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joebelanger wrote:
I pick, "Enjoy the time spent with my kids and love watching them have fun in their own way."


There's no need for adults to feel guilty for not nailing themselves to a crucifix made of Hi Ho Cherry-O. Learning about preferences is part of growing up, and we all have fun in our own way.

I'll play just about any game when asked by a kid, but in my experience it's easy to find something we all enjoy simply by making a suggestion. (I like a lot of kids games, however.) "Talking them into something better" is an overstatement.
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Sue Hemberger

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The "expose them to great games and purge bad games" strategy has been very successful for us. I feel the same way about books and food. Show 'em the good stuff and when they encounter the crap, they won't be that interested. You may not end up with the same tastes, but it's not that hard to find/build common ground.

My daughter's a vegetarian in an omnivorous household. She loves fiction, whereas my husband and I almost always prefer non-fiction. But we both enjoys many of the same foods and the same games and we happily read aloud to each other. What's shared, I think is fairly high standards -- we all like our food fresh and tasty, our books well-written, our games fun.

RE War -- for pre-schoolers, I liked Battle Dot. It's fun to watch them move from counting by touching each item, to developing a system/order to ensure that everything gets counted once and only one, to apprehending quantities at a glance, and then being able to add them together. It's fascinating to see how many small steps, acquired separately, go into even really basic skills.

And my slapjack substitute is Fliegen Klatschen,especially fun played two-handed.
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lil li
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I play anything the little ones (five and under) want for as long as they want (or until the bus comes or I have to make dinner or whatever). With the big kids, I play what they want; then they play what I want, so they can learn to compromise. I usually give them their way first though, in case there isn't enough time for my game. Honestly, I figure if my 12 year old daughter still wants to play these games with me instead of plugging into her Jonas Bros. CD and reading about what the latest lip gloss trends are, then I can sacrifice an hour or so of my time to play The Hobbit or Dragonology (both goodish, but not as good as our other games, games) or Uno or some trivia nonsense. I'm happy we can share a hobby. I hope all of my kids are as into games as my three oldest ones.

I know my five year old is starting to be a grrr-eat fan of games. We play Uno or Orchard or Memory every day after lunch while we wait for her bus to come at noon. It's a good time, not matter how redundant. It's mama and the big girl time. It doesn't get any better than that.



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