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Subject: Your Earliest Game-Related Memory rss

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p55carroll
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Think back--way back. What's the earliest game-related memory of your life? How old were you? What game was it? What do you recall about it?

Mine's from early childhood. Don't know how old I was, but I don't think I was able to talk yet. My mom and I were at a neighbor's house, and on a living-room shelf, I saw a boxed game. Curious, I reached for it, and my mom pulled me away. "That's a game for grown-ups," she said. I was disappointed. I couldn't wait to grow up.

No idea what the game was. Not entirely sure I knew it was a game until after my mom told me so.

My next-earliest memory was from around the same age. Just remember looking up at a table where my dad and others were playing a card game. Again, I don't know what game. But I seem to recall seeing poker chips.

Another early-childhood memory is of the game Cootie. It may have been the first game I ever got my hands on. But at first I didn't know it was a game; it looked like just a toy. A little later, I noticed there were game rules inside the box lid. I don't think I ever played it as a game. Just fooled around with it as a toy.

After that memory, there's a gap of probably a few years. Then I remember sitting outside under a tree, learning a card game or two from another kid in the neighborhood. One was War, and the other may have been Slapjack. (I liked War better; Slapjack seemed too fast and chaotic for my taste.)

Lots more gaming memories follow that. Those are my earliest ones.

What are yours?
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Laura Lawson
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When I was young, my dad worked nights. Mom would play a game with my sister and me before reading us a story and putting us to bed. Hi-Ho Cherrio was our favorite, I think, although we enjoyed Cootie, too.

I probably played with poker chips even before that, but I don't have any real memory of it. My mom's mom always brought out her lazy-susan set that included some cardboard, some ceramic (?) (not plastic) red, white and blue chips, and let the toddlers play with them. My mom kept them, and my children played with them, too.

When we were slightly older, but still very young, we played cards--war of course, but also poker, go fish, rummy, etc. And we learned how to build houses of cards (a trick I just taught my kids a couple weeks ago).
 
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Brad Johnson
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I have lots of early-childhood memories of games - we always had a lot fo games around. I just don't remember a specific order that things happened in:

I definitely remember playing Candyland, and in particular, realizing that whoever got the Ice Cream Floats card had a much better chance of winning. And yes, I do remember at least one time I purposely stacked the deck so I would get that card. Probably when I was playing against my little sister, because she would have been the least likely to figure it out.

I also remember playing games like Hi-Ho Cherry-O, Chutes & Ladders, Cootie, and so on. Later, I developed a definite interest in horror-themed games: The Barnabas Collins Dark Shadows Game (which I remember as a Cootie-inspired race to build glow-in-the-dark skeletons), Which Witch? (which I would still love to get a copy of off of Ebay someday, but my kids are way too old now to appreciate it), and some kind of game that involved glow-in-the-dark ghosts (wish I could remember what that one was called).

Around this time, I remember playing a lot of Yahtzee (using some simplified house rules where you were required to get the different scores in order down the page, which removed all the decision-making for kids). Apparently my parents thought we would like another dice game, so around this time I remember my little brother getting a new Yahtzee-like dice game for Christmas and us trying to learn the rules to it with my dad. There was something about the rules that I didn't understand, and this frustrated me so much that I refused to play. (Kids!)

We moved on to games like Battleship, Clue, Monopoly, and Stratego (the latter two played entirely incorrectly, as I recall), and others like The Inventors, Fat Chance, Gambler, The Mad Magazine Game, Laser Attack, Dark Tower, and The Sinking of the Titanic. Some of these I *have* re-acquired from Ebay, just for nostalgia's sake.
 
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Ferran Solà
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I don't remember how it started, but when i was very very young, my father always had to play a game with me before i wanted to go to bed during the summers: En Busca Del Imperio Cobra. I'm not sure why was this game, how it started, and why it was only during summer, but i remember playing it before even understanding how to play it!
 
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Kevin Everingham
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The earliest that I remember was elementary school about 1974 to 1975.

RAIN DAYS... we had to stay in and play so occasionally I would play Battleship or Stratego.

 
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norman rule
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My earliest gaming memory was passing around the vampire teeth from Barnabas Collins Dark Shadows Game.

Word of warning... it's hard to eat potato chips and drink soda while wearing those teeth. yuk And if your playmates are sloppy, you get an extra "treat" when they pass the teeth to you. gulp

Hey, we were about 7-8 years old. What did we know?
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Andrew C.
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My earliest game-related memory is being introduced to a deck of standard playing cards when I was no older than 4, on a family holiday. My grandmother first had me entertain myself by sorting the cards into piles of red and black cards, then into suits, and then by rank. It was probably very soon after that when I was first able to play simple games with the cards (matching rank or suit, similar to Uno).
 
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p55carroll
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Minnesota
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Gstealer wrote:
I think I was three and my dad had me playing SFB with the Commanders rules and ASL at the same time.


Precocious young tyke, weren't you?
 
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Michael Denman
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Katy
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I couldn't name the game, but my earliest childhood memory looked something like Busen Memo...
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Bob
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My oldest childhood memory is probably Sorry!



I seem to recall getting a big kick out of making someone's piece slide and having to say Sorry.

Thankfully we out grew that game, or did we (darn grandkids)... gulp

 
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Dave
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My earliest memory (maybe other earlier memories will surface later) is of a game called "The Great Turtle Race" (looked for it one here, not in the listings) that I had as a child. I remember back then it was one of my prized possessions. Basically a race game on a circular track that could be rotated inside the box (if I remember correctly). Under the race track were magnets. Players each had their own turtles (shells with the turtles sticking their necks out like bobble heads with magnets inside the turtle heads). Basically you would move your turtles around the track as well as move the actual race track, rotating it between turns. As a result sometimes your turtle would fall asleep and hide his head in his shell courtesy of the magnets. You couldn't move your turtle until he woke up again.

I remember this being a prized possession because my parents had gone out, leaving us at home with a babysitter. Early off in the evening our sitter had gotten a call from my parents that they had heard there was a tornado warning for the area. Me and my brothers ended up gathering up our prized belongings (basically whatever we could fit in a sheet) and took them downstairs to the basement to camp out and wait out the warning and wait for our parents to get home. I remember this being the main thing that I had to save.

Other than that I remember my brother having Bermuda Triangle and his explaining what the actual Bermuda Triangle was. From then on there was a threatening air of mystery about that game, made me uneasy. But I also thought it was cool how the cloud would swallow the boats up. Just didn't really like the box sitting ominously on the shelf.
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matt erwin
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reno
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Seems to me that we used to hit Chutes and Ladders pretty hard in the first grade. Circa 1974.
 
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Booker Hooker
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I don't recall which one came first, but I remember playing both Old Maid and Blizzard of '77 Travel Game when I was pretty young. Man I loved the Blizzard game. I was always bugging little sis to play it.
 
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EGG Head
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Hm, Trouble, Sorry, Staying Alive, Monopoly, Chess, Memory "Mah Jong" somewhere starting around kindergarten as best I can remember. Risk came later as well as real Mah Jong. Of course the usual cardgames as well. That was pretty much it until I was finished with school and got into MtG.
 
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Tim Benjamin
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Chess set for Christmas when 7 - 8. Thought only the knights took pieces by 'jumping' them. So maybe I'd seen checkers before......
 
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Tomasz Miller
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I think standard from me - i remember that i was playing Chess lots of time with my Grandpa and i started when i was ca. 5 years old.

He beat me all the time

 
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Philip Thomas
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I remember my father teaching me Chess. He started with just the King and Queen and the two pawns in front of them, while I had the full set. If I won three games in a row he would add a piece to his side, after another three games a pawn, and so on.

I also remember playing games with my sister (four years younger). There was a very simple game called something like "How Does Your Garden Grow?". The players turned over tiles which either showed flowers or worms. Worms ate the flowers and your score at the end was equal to the number of flowers remaining. Complete chance, but my sister liked it a lot...
 
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Darren Hron
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Huntingdon
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My most clear memories of early gaming was wanting to play candy land all the time at pre-school, and always loving and wanting to get the one card that sent you near the end.

I have more vague memories of playing memory with a standard deck of cards with my grandmother. And her teaching me standard solitare. I had to have been in the 2-3 year range. I know it was before my sister was born and I was 3.5 then. The day my sister was born is an extremely clear memory.
 
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Sam I am
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Playing some vampire game with what I though was a huge board at age 6 and loving the asthetic w/ little to no clue what was going on. What game was that any way, I tried Dark Shadows and neither game was it?
 
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David Jackman
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Weekends at my grandads house, playing Go Fish while watching Murder She Wrote. Good days, may he rest in peace.
 
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John
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Other than things like monopoly my earliest memory of a proper game was getting space crusade and mission dreadnought for either christmas or my birthday (I can't quite remember which). I didn't really have anyone to play it with but I had lots of fun playing solo.

Now that I think of it, they should still be at my parents house (assuming they haven't thrown them away). I'd better go check and see if I can get hold of them again and update my collection.
 
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Ray
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the problem with early memories is in figuring out which were the earliest. I have lots of memories of playing candy land but cant say if i was 2, 5, 7, or 10 as i had younger brothers and had to entertain them. (I remember the later playings were not that exciting)

I do remember playing this with my mother but not my younger brothers so i can be certain it is an early memory: Casper the Friendly Ghost Game (as it was trashed/lost before i became old enough)
 
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Manisha DS
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My earliest memories tend to blend into each other in a haze. I have a vague recollection of cowrie shells (played similar to jacks), ludo, snakes and ladders, marbles and playing cards, lots of playing cards.

Edit: How could I forget to add Carrom! blush
 
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Steve Russell
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Hmmm.... Long time ago. But I want to say my first board games were CHutes and Ladder or Uncly Wiggly. Probably Uncle Wiggly. I'm guessing I was maybe 3 or 4. My favorite thing to do was to play Samba which is a canasta game using three decks (you had to get these really big long runs instead of sets like standard canasta. Picking the deck was always the exciting part of that game). Popular in the 50s (at least at my house) and I was allowed to play when I was 6 or 7 years old and I can really remember those games and how excited I was to get to play with the grown ups. We had all the standards at that time: Clue, Monopoly, Stratego, Tripoly and they got played a lot, especially in the summer on the front porch (nobody I knew had A/C). It was great. Got to play with my family and friends and we really had a lot of fun.

I have no doubt that these activities made me into a game geek. Get to do it next weekend a long one ) again on vacation with my wife's family and all our kids, nephews, nieces, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc. They ALL game, so it's gonna be great!! We'll be sitting outside playing games every night. Just like the old days.

Just had to go search for Samba after I wrote this. Here it is Samba. 1950 publishing date. Gotta get one and spring it on our Canasta playing friends.
 
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Tom McThorn
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I remember playing Clue with my parents. Their set was old enough that the lead pipe was made of lead.
 
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