What are Board Games?

     It's highly doubtful there is someone reading this that doesn't know what a board game is, but on the off chance that someone doesn't, I'll answer this question.

     A board game is a game that has a board - whether to move ones game piece or to spin an arrow that will land on a letter, number, color or otherwise.

     Some board games are better well known than others, especially ones that have been around for several years. The more popular games come in a variety of themes, which collectors of the game might well snap up even though its all basically the same - save for the theme itself.

     There are a number of classic board games that one often hears of, plays or has seen on display at a store. Many board games are older whereas the newer ones are not nearly as numerous as those that are ten, twenty or more years old since their first release. Which says something about how many people enjoy those board games be it at home, in classrooms or in tournaments if the board games have those like many card games do.

      Whatever the case may be, games for when one is bored made out of board can give a family hours of entertainment - especially on family game night. And a family should always have a weekly game night along with a weekly family movie night.

A List of Five Fun Board Games

1. Monopoly

      One board game that almost everyone should know, if only because of MacDonalds, if not for any other reason is the classic board game of Monopoly which is published by Parker Brothers.

     Monopoly is indeed a word used long before the games creation. The very definition of Monopoly is the domination of a market by a single entity. An example of a true Monopoly was Bell Atlantic Phone Company before it was split into various other phone companies.

     There was a game like Monopoly back as early as 1903 when a woman named Elizabeth (Lizzie) J. Magie Philips, an American woman, called The Landlord's Game. The game was not commercially published until 1923. It was in 1934 that the Parker Brothers first sold the game Monopoly.

     It was Philips intention through the game to show the negative aspects of concentrating land in private monopolies. Since then however the idea has changed, even the original Monopoly board by the Parker Brothers has had some changes as St. Charles Place no longer exists.

     Monopoly is one game that does have a tournament. It is a worldwide tournament run by Hasbro.

A Look at a Monopoly Tournament

2. Scrabble

     Scrabble is a game for two to four players on a 15-by-15 grid where each player is given seven pieces on which there is a letter or a blank. It is a word game after all and has been played in the homes and scools of many in 121 countries, in 29 languages since 1938. The game was created by one Alfred Mosher Butts, a variation of a game he'd invented called Lexiko - another word game.

     It was not until 1948 when James Brunot bought the rights to the game from Butts that the game became known as Scrabble which means to scratch fanatically.Butts would get royalties for each unit sold. Since then, approximatly 150 million sets have been sold world wide.

     Scrabble is currently a trademark of Hasbro in the United States and Canada, but elsewhere it is the trademark of Mattel.

     The game has even been on television, the first of which was in 1984 as a daytime game show on NBC. It ran from July 1984 until March 1990 with a second run in 1993 from January to June. It wasn't until 2011 when a new Scrabble show called Scrabble Showdown appeared on The Hub cable channel.

     It appears that Monopoly and Scrabble really are the top two of board games for the bored, family game night and tournaments too.

Video on How to Play Scrabble

101 Two-Letter words in Scrabble

Scrabble Deluxe Edition
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3. Checkers

     Checkers as it is known in American and Canadian English, is known in British English is Draughts, is another fun board game although this one is for only two people. Unless of course one has more than one checker board.

     The board of the game has 8-by-8 squares and the pieces tradionally are black, red or white. Most often seen in American Checkers however the pieces are black and red. The idea of checkers is an ancient game dating back possibly to 3000 BC by carbon dating although not 100% like the checkers/draughts we see today.

     In Ancient Egypt around 1400 BC there was a game called Alquerqe on a 5x5 board. It was not until 1100 AD that a french man got the idea of playing the game on a chess board and thus where the modern day rules and board of the game began although then it was called Fierges or Ferses.

      Sometimes it is the most ancient of games which give people hours of entertainment. After all, what did people do for entertainment before computers, before the television, before even radio had been invented? Various sports, soirees and of course board games and the use of ones imagination.

Claymation Playing Checkers

Deluxe Wooden Chess, Checker and Backgammon Set, Brown
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4. Operation

     Operation is a more modern board game, at least in comparison to the aforementioned board games of Monopoly, Scrabble and Checkers. The Operation game put out by orginally by Milton Bradley and now Hasbro began its sales in 1965 as a battery operated game which was invented by John Spinello.

     Since its release, may children and adults alike have enjoyed trying to operate on the red nosed patient (nicknamed Cavity Sam) by removing bones and organs made of plastic. When one touches the sides inside where each piece is placed a buzzer will go off meaning the player failed at removing that particular piece. Not a good thing if one were actually a real doctor. Of course some kids who played the game as children may have later become real doctors due to inspiration.

Operation Game Tutorial on How to Play

Operation Spongebob Edition
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5. Twister

     Twister is a fun game, for family members or friends. It requires a good deal of balance and dexterity - otherwise it'd be very difficult to win. The only part of the game which is made of board is the spinner to determine which body part and which color the body part needs to land on in order to continue the game and hopefully win. The only body parts allowed to be used are the hands and feet, both right and left. Called Twister no doubt because of how one has to twist themselves, sometimes into a pretzel if they're able in order to defeat the other player(s).

Learn How to Play Twister

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