Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tiddlywinks and Other Games - A-Z Blog Challenge

Heaven knows why I thought of tiddlywinks. I haven't played it since I was a child and even then it wasn't a game I really enjoyed. As far as I remember it was one of those games that was given to us when we were quite young, we tried a few matches and rapidly lost interest. I'm not even sure if we grasped the rules and the flipping of the "winks"  - small plastic discs - with "squidgers" - slightly larger discs - by pushing down on the edge of a wink so it flipped up and landed in the pot was probably too much of a challenge for small fingers.

In those pre-television years games of all sorts were very popular. On weeknights we'd have homework and early nights but Friday and Saturday were most often family nights when we would be allowed to stay up later. When I look back I don't recall my parents going out much although they must have. I do remember being tucked up in blankets on the back of Dad's truck on summer evenings when they went to square dancing held under the stars in the summer at the local school and occasionally going to visit neighbours or family. Apart from that Dad was always going to some sort of night class and Rostrum (a public speaking organisation while Mum belonged to the local church mothers' group and met up for lunch regularly with "the  girls" (some of them her cousins and others friends from her school days). For the rest most of their - and our - lives seemed to revolve around home and family. We'd go to the drive in "pictures", head out into the bush for picnics and there was a continual stream of people who dropped in for meals.

Other than that, at least until we were in our older teens, home was where we spent most of our time and that's when the games came out. They were many and varied. We loved card games like rummy, the children's version not gin rummy - gambling was always frowned on - and patience, better known now as solitaire due to the US influence that came with rise of computers. I particularly liked patience and, thanks to my grandmother and great aunts, knew a lot of games and played them often. You can imagine my delight when I got my first computer and discovered them on it. I play it now as often as I did as a child.

Then there were the board games - Chinese checkers was a favourite, as was draughts, the same game as the US checkers. I didn't discover chess until I was an adult, which is probably why it has never gripped me - apart from my inability to think strategically enough to win a game, of course.

As well there were the commercial board games, Monoply and Scrabble being our favourites - and I still play Scrabble on a daily basis but these days it's online.

While these old pleasures are still available and you can still buy board games, they are losing ground. In this computer age when even toddlers have access to tablets and computer games have become very sophisticated, Saturday evenings sitting around playing games as a family is disappearing and with it the human interaction that was such a big part of it. I may be showing my age but I think that is a great pity.

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