Sunday, March 13, 2016

Roll and move rears its ugly head

My son got a copy of 'If You Give A Mouse A Cookie' at the Tucson Festival of Books that came with a tear out board game. And, even though I knew better, I thought that was cool.

And, of course, it was a roll and move (surprise!)

(And, for the record, I know it was the version of Mouse that was in Happy Meals a while back. I was happy, from a parent-viewpoint, that it did have the original text and pictures)

And if you don't know what I'm talking about, you actually do. I talking about games where you roll dice and move that many spaces on a track. No choices or decisions. Just blindly obey the dice.

Roll and move is the bane of gamers. I know some people will argue that themed Monopoly or the Chick Tract Dark Dungeons is the bane of gamers everywhere but it's really roll and move.

In particular, I blame of the Game of Goose. 

It didn't invent roll and move. Oh no. Roll and move has been around thousands of years with games like Backgammon or Parcheesi. But those games give you multiple pawns so you do have real choices. Backgammon even lets you move multiple pawns in a turn so it goes from being mindless to really deep.

And I'm pretty sure the Game of Goose didn't even invent just having one pawn and no choices. (Oh, wouldn't that be Snakes and Ladders?) But it definitely helped popularize the idea and has been spreading the idea around since 1590. And it started out as a gambling game, not a game for kiddies :0

Of course, it has become the standard format for any cheap kids game, particularly one with some cartoon character slapped in it for theme. I've heard that it has gotten better in recent years and I'll be finding that out in a few years when my son gets older.

But, seriously, even Candy Land also teaches kids colors and how to stack a deck of cards. The best roll and move teaches is counting, taking turns and that life isn't fair. Frankly, roll and move is going to teach kids that games are boring and need to be avoided.

Of course, in this case, I still get to read my son 'If You Give A Mouse A Cookie'

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