hate the game, love the playa

A reminder–there are less than 12 hours left to enter to win the British H.P. cover. So far, it looks like there’s only one entry, so it won’t be that hard to at least come in second.

And while we’re on the subject of kid things we love, I thought I’d turn the tables & write about a kid thing I hate. There are lots of kid games that are merely annoying. (Chutes and Ladders, I’m looking at you.) But somewhere we’ve acquired a Milton Bradley game that I truly despise–it’s called Guess Who?

guess-who.jpg

It’s a two-player game. Each person has the same 24 cards on their board–each card pictures a different individual. Each player picks a yellow card that matches one of the board cards, and then takes turns asking the other player questions that narrow down the identity of the yellow card. They can only be yes or no questions (ie–“does your person have blonde hair?”). The person who narrows it down the fastest & guesses the right person wins.

Why do I loathe it so? Well, first of all, the construction. The game falls apart constantly while you’re playing it. While that’s merely frustrating for me, it is infuriating for the Bee, because she isn’t always dexterous enough to put it back together, and if I have to put it back together for her, then I see her pieces. It’s clear to me that they made it very cheaply–it wouldn’t have been hard to produce the face cards and their holders as one item, instead of in two pieces, but I’m sure that would have made it more expensive.

But beyond my irritation with the cheap construction, is my sheer animus about the fact that the default character in this game is a white man (and a white man with hair, at that!). Out of 24 characters, only 5 are women (adding insult to injury, the Potato seems to have lost two of the women cards in our game, leaving 3). Only five of the characters are black (one of which is a woman). None are Asian, Latino or Native American. I guess the lesson this game is teaching is that it’s hard to tell white men apart? The 15 of them come in great variation–bald (4) and with hair; blonde (4), white-haired (4), two flavors of brunette (4), redhead (3)*; wearing glasses (3) or well-sighted; bearded (3) or clean-shaven. Nobody else has this kind of variety.

What’s up with that?

And while we’re on the subject, what multi-racial games for kids are out there that I don’t know about?

*Does not equal 15 due to the fact that men can be both bald and have facial hair.

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August 8, 2007. family life, thoughtful parenting.

6 Comments

  1. Kimberly replied:

    Mousetrap is worse. So, so much worse.

  2. CamiKaos replied:

    HOLY NO! I FORGOT TO DO IT!!!

    I am ON IT. It will be up TONIGHT.

  3. Procrastamom replied:

    We have bought Guess Who brand new at least three times over the years because my kids love it so much. Cheap construction is right. I used to play it at my Aunt’s house when I was a kid and of course it was built much better back then. The cards never fell out of their holders. I always wished she’d kept it…I would have bought it off of her if I had to. But I do agree that Guess Who is a little sexist and racist.

    The kids’ game I hate the most? CANDYLAND!!! We just admitted to Ashley the other day (now that she’s 15, we thought she was emotionally mature enough to hear it) that we used to stack the cards so she’d always win the game in the shortest amount of time. She said she was highly offended on behalf of her 3 year-old self!

  4. penguinunearthed replied:

    We’ve got a game like that, but its about monsters – three eyes, two eyes or one eye, and whether they have hair or not are the major ways to tell them apart. Similar shoddy construction, though.

    I’m not going to enter your competition, though – I think here in Australia, I have the british HP cover already.

  5. elise replied:

    Chutes and Ladders WAS horrible. We used to not do the chutes and only do the ladders. Otherwise, just when you thought the game was over, you’d go down one of those slides AARRGGHH!!

  6. brettdl replied:

    We recently received the game for Seth’s birthday and I noticed the same things.

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