opinions

Board Games Make Me Realize I’m Not Pitching My Stupid Ideas to the Right People

About a week ago my mom came home from work with a  particularly perky pep to her step. It had been a riveting day at the information desk (or so we can assume), and boy was she ready to tell me all about it.

Mom “I learned such a cool word today!”

Me “Hmm?”

Mom “Cisgender.”

Me “Never heard of it. What’s it mean?”

Mom “When one’s gender identity, so the way they present themselves and see themselves, matches what is seen as the appropriate behavior for their gender.”

Me “So, basically, the people that are the reason that gender stereotypes exist, like Barbie and Ken.”

Mom “Precisely.”

(Though, I’ve also been corrected on my definition, so I’ll include the correction as well….while not changing the upper dialog because I’m lazy: it is just the opposite of transgender. (literally- trans means “across”, cis means “on the same side”). Thanks Ryan!)

It was a fascinating exchange, and it semi-relates to at least one part of this post.

Another thing, some board games are really bad. They cause severe mental anguish, ruin relationships, can be super freaking racist, and it is a well known fact that deplorable board game etiquette is a leading cause in death amongst family members.

There are the games for the Elvisophiles, “giving a real feel of Elvis’s own journey from Tupelo to Graceland.” Can you feel it? It’s like you’re actually there watching him eat a peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich. Shrek’s Scrabble, to teach your kids to use imaginary and/or stupid words that will get them mercilessly mocked when they get older—do you really think b-u-r-r-r-r-p is a word? Should it be freaking accepted during a game of Scrabble? NO. Take your make believe bonus 50 word dictionary and get out of my face, Shrek. There are the games set in reality, such as Lucy Hammett’s Texas Bingo. Who is Lucy Hammett? Why is she trying to teach us about idiosyncratic Texan culture? All I know is that I’m terrified that Lucy assures us “this bingo is lead free.” Is lead-laden bingo a problem!? Holy shitsnacks! What is this life I’ve been living!?

Sure, you may have fond memories playing badass games like Candyland, Monopoly or Apples to Apples, but as you grow older you sort of realize that the majestic, beautiful glimmer of fun that board games used to have has dulled. This is fine. Whatever. What boardgames should not do, is try to appear super young and hip. While hangin’ with the BF the TV played this hunk of bullshit:

The point of the game is to ask the players questions that the opposite sex should know about. So, guys = girly questions (cooking, cleaning, Gwyneth Paltrow and soap operas), girls = brawny man questions (cars, fishing, Ace Hardware catalogs and action films). Don’t be fooled by the assumption that this game, filed under “educational,” will actually teach you anything remotely ground breaking about the opposite sex, unless you have a single-digit IQ. I’m not even totally bothered (I’m lying) by the blatant sexism and reinforcement of gender stereotypes, but by the pointlessness of the whole thing. After perusing the internet to find a reasonable pool of sample questions, I realized that it was geared towards morons who have no grasp of common sense, or actually about shit that no gender would not know, or care, about.

HA, a woman. Who knows about TOOLS? SCIENCE? GOOD ONE. Next you’ll tell me they can vote. (Real questions: “What tool would you use to drive a nail into a piece of wood?” / “What is the other name used for Trinitrotoluene?”)

And how about that dude? It is so obvious that he doesn’t read Cosmo, no wonder they doesn’t understand those women-folk. (Real questions: “What PERCENTAGE of women say they enjoy romantic movie comedies more than romance novels?” / “What is a small bunch of flowers put on a woman’s bodice at dances or formals?”) DUMB MEN. THEY DON’T EVEN TRY.

Then again, that’s the point of the game. You’re supposed to know every subtle nuance of the opposing gender’s normative likes, loves and hobbies, but if you don’t, that’s cool, because you’ll realize that this board game was a horrible waste of 20 dollars regardless of the outcome. Just remember, “you’ll NEVER understand them, so you might as well defeat them.”

Freaking ridiculous. I could come up with better games than these with my eyes closed and make bank. Watch out, coming soon’ll be Battle of the Texans, Shrek and Elvis: The Reckoning.

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One thought on “Board Games Make Me Realize I’m Not Pitching My Stupid Ideas to the Right People

  1. I forget where but we found a battle of the sexes game from the 70’s or 80’s somewhere once and all of the gender stereotyping was hilariously insane. I am pretty sure we (ladies) didn’t know half of the woman questions. It’s kind of sad to see a resurgence of this type of game. But I am interested to see how these gender assigned questions will be perceived 50 years from now when we are old and saggy.

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