I’ve played a lot of games in my life. The first game I ever played was Peek-a-Boo. I would hide behind my hands, thinking that I was invisible to my relatives, and then surprise the hell out of everyone by throwing my hands aside to unveil myself. The rules and expectations were simple back then. I made the rules, or thought I did, and everyone played along. I had no concept of winning or losing. Everyone who played the game was a winner and the prizes were giggles and smiles.
The next game to enter my life was Hide and Seek. It’s similar to Peek-a-Boo except none of the players are under the delusion that they are invisible. You run to your chosen hiding spot and hope that you’re the last one to be caught. Sometimes, depending on the rules that everyone agreed to, you’d try to sneak back to the safe area. Simple rules, but they are necessary for the game to function. Living in rural Western New York, we had plenty of great hiding places — some even came with a complimentary patch of poison ivy.
One of my all-time favorite games was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This was not a licensed game, and there were no tokens or boards. It consisted of me, my grandmother’s front yard, nunchucks (an important role played by a stick), and sometimes a cousin that would play as one of the “lesser” turtles to my stellar Michelangelo(1). It was a great game where story ruled and everything could only be limited by your imagination. We’d often take down Krang while he was super-sized in his exo-suit. Neighbors driving by probably just saw two kids high-kicking the air. Their loss. Continue reading