Playing games

Last weekend my sister and her husband came to visit and celebrate my birthday. We ate lots of good food, played lots of games, got to see some family and just generally had a good time. Although, I’m pretty sure Brian’s favorite part of the whole visit was Monday morning when I had to go to work and Kari took the baby at like 6 and let Brian sleep til 10. I’m sure when they have kids of their own that won’t happen anymore.

It was lots of fun to have them here, especially since it meant we got to play games every night. Board games just aren’t as much fun with only 2 people. Kari’s post got me thinking though, about my family and board games. Here’s what she said about one of the games we played: “That night Elsha introduced us to a game called Blokus. It was awesome. We had a great time, and by that I mean we all hated each other at the end of the game. We’ll have to play again sometime soon!!” The funny thing is, we didn’t just play one round of Blokus; we played over and over and over. It didn’t matter that we all hated each other at the end of the round; we still wanted to play again. My family is a little crazy about games so I decided to write some rules you need to follow if you want to play games with the Gustavsons. (And yes, I had to train Brian to do this stuff—he was far too good natured about games when we first met.)

1. It always needs to be competitive. There is no playing just for fun. Because as Monica says on Friends, “If we don’t keep score, how do we know who wins?!”
2. Make sure to trash-talk. This provides almost as much entertainment as the game itself.
3. When you hear the answer to a trivia question you just got wrong, the correct response is– Oh! That was my next guess!
4. Make fun of the other players/team. This doesn’t have to be game related. We spent an entire game of trivial pursuit making fun of Jonathan because he’s “old” (like 3 years older than I am.)
5. When you are in the lead make sure to point that out often. That way, if you lose, you can remind the other team how much of the game you were winning and tell them they just got lucky.
6. If you win, make sure the other team know that it was because of your far superior game playing skills and that luck had nothing to do with it.
7. If you lose, make sure there is a re-match. As Eric says, in our family there are winners and let’s-play-again-ers. There are many excuses to play again such as:
That was just a practice round!
Ok, best 2 out of 3
(Or after 2 losses) Ok, best 3 out of 5 (This can go on indefinitely)
If for some reason, a re-match isn’t feasible, make sure everyone knows it’s not your fault you lost. Point out that it’s late/you never got dealt any good cards/the other team got all the easy questions/everybody was out to get you and so on. If all else fails, resort to insulting the other players- as in—yeah, I could win too if I were old like you are.
8. If you’re trying to get your teammates to guess something, make sure to use encouraging statements like, “if you don’t know, don’t guess!” (An actual quote from my dad.)
9. If things aren’t going your way, throwing things may be necessary. Game pieces, video game controllers, baseball caps, and clipboards are all acceptable choices.
10. Most importantly, have fun! (I know that seems counter intuitive too all the previous rules, but trust me, it’s the point of game playing.)

So, all you Gustavsons out there reading this, did I miss anything? And for everybody else, how do you all play games? Is it all good natured, or a *little* bit competitive? Also, I hope this doesn’t put anyone off from inviting Brian and I to play games, we’re on our best behavior when it’s not family:)

4 thoughts on “Playing games

  1. You forgot to add that pink lemonade is an acceptable weapon in game playing, used by squirting it over the head of the person who was talking while it was your turn, thus rendering you the let’s-play-again-er (ahem, *LOSER*)because you couldn’t think during such an interruption. Also, while playing Pictionary the winner is required to hold up their drawing, no matter how ridiculous, and declare it “the picture that clenched it!” However, pantyhose should be banned from Pictionary, as they cannot be drawn.

  2. If I remember right, the rules also include Eric and Karl being banned from playing on the same team in Trivial Pursuit. An unofficial rule is that everyone has to tell grandma what the trump suit is after each card is played every hand of Oh Heck. Also, don’t forget that it’s perfectly acceptable for victories to get more and more impressive as time goes by. This works in single games (remember when I won by 500 (even though the game only went to 300)?) or streaks (yeah you won but remember last week when I beat you 37 straight times (out of the 6 times you actually played)). My favorite rule is that all games at Christmastime have to be played in the pit by a nice hot fire, alongside your spouse and together with your loving family and in-laws. Nothing like it!

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