Now and Then: Games of Today and Yesterday

When I was a young child, it seemed my life was a game.  Or at least I spent most of my time playing games! I was never the first kid on the block to have the cool new toy. I had a few Barbie dolls, but Ronni had the Barbie townhouse and Amy had the Barbie pool. By the time I got around to buying a Cabbage Patch Kid, the waiting list was so long that when Toys "R" Us called over a year later and said my doll had arrived, I was in sixth grade and too old to play with it. (I did anyway.) My family didn't have Atari or Intellivision. (We didn't even have premiere television channels!) Thankfully, I had friends with better playrooms than my own because I never felt all that deprived.  I owned some less "hip" games like the board game Life, which I loved! And I spent hours trying to solve the Rubik's Cube, Pyraminx and Rubik's Snake puzzles.  I was incredibly excited to receive the electronic games "Maniac" and Simon (and Super Simon) for my 10th birthday.  I could waste away a Saturday playing card games like War, Gin Rummy, Spit and Crazy Eights. 

When my Grandma Molly visited, we played family games like UNO and Scrabble. The kids in the neighborhood and I played 21, waging our favorite stationary and stickers (my faves included the "puffy" ones and Hello Kitty). My sister and I played Jacks and Chinese Jacks. My sister was a pro! And then there were outdoor games like Statues, Red Light/Green Light, Mother May I, TV Tag, Hopscotch, SPUD, horse, tetherball, running bases and a game naively named by me and a friend as Blue Balls because, well, the sports ball we bought at the grocery store was blue. *blush* My sister and I would also pretend we were characters in popular television shows like The Facts of Life. She was always Blair, of course.

These were the games of my childhood, but as I matured, so did the games I played.  The video arcade became a popular hangout when I was in junior high and Pac Man, Space Invaders and Frogger were among my favorites. Most of high school is a blur for me, and I think I spent more time daydreaming about whatever guy I was crushing than playing games but once I got to college, games were all the rage again.  Drinking games, that is!  Asshole, Up The River, Down the River, Three Man, Beer Pong, The Name Game, Bullshit, Sixes (I can go on and on and on...)  But not all of our games involved drinking.  For instance, during my freshman year, the girls in my dorm and I became fascinated with my roommate's Ouija Board until we freaked out after getting in touch with a "dark" spirit.  
Now that I am a mature (cough) adult, I don't play as many games as I used to.  It's difficult to balance games with working a full-time job, writing and promoting my books, eating, exercising, sleeping, spending time with friends, family and the boyfriend and just general life maintenance, like remembering to replenish the toilet paper.  But I know there are some very popular games out there, like the Nintendo Wii series and Xbox.  As with Atari and Intellivision, I'm pretty certain if I was a kid today, I would not own either of those games and would have to rely on my friends. If I asked nicely (and often) enough, I might have been able to persuade my mom to buy me a smart phone so I could at least play such games as Angry Birds or Words with Friends. 

What about you?  Did you play any of the games I mentioned above?  What are your favorite games of today and yesterday?  

Meredith Schorr lives in New York City and works as a trademark paralegal at a prestigious law firm. In addition to writing humorous women's fiction novels, her passions include running, spending time with friends and family and rooting for the New York Yankees. Meredith is a member of Romance Writers of America and Chick Lit Writers of The World. Just Friends with Benefits is her first novel. For more information, please visit