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unixknight

The Winner of the Game of Life (The Boardgame) is...

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So I sat with my kids this afternoon and we played Life.  For those who haven't heard of it (all 3 of you) it's the boardgame where you go through "life" with a job, income, kids, buying a house, etc.  The object of the game is to retire with the highest amount of money.

So my daughter ended he game with almost $2M and 1 kid.  She won.  I ended the game with... less money than that and also had 1 kid.  My son also had less money, and he had 6 (count 'em) 6 kids.  He had so many kids he needed a second car game piece to tote them all around.

So my daughter announced that she had won. (Which is true, by the game rules.)  But then a thought occurred to me, which I shared with them.  Her in-game persona will end the game of life with just one child to say farewell.  The same went for me.  But my son... his in-game self would pass on with an entire room full of people who love him.

I think the game rules have the wrong victory conditions.

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According to my daughter the last time we played (was somewhere around 2016), the goal was to cram absolutely as many children into the car as possible, and make husband sit in the back and cry.

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Refresh my memory. It seems that there was an earlier version of the Game of Life that included number of children in the final "score" (if memory serves, each child was given a fixed dollar value when figuring your final worth)?  I seem to recall winning one round in part because I had several children, which gave me a sizeable "bonus" at the end which pushed me over the top. I want to say that this was in the '80's maybe early '90's -- though the copy we were playing could have been older still.

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3 hours ago, MrShorty said:

Refresh my memory. It seems that there was an earlier version of the Game of Life that included number of children in the final "score" (if memory serves, each child was given a fixed dollar value when figuring your final worth)?  I seem to recall winning one round in part because I had several children, which gave me a sizeable "bonus" at the end which pushed me over the top. I want to say that this was in the '80's maybe early '90's -- though the copy we were playing could have been older still.

I think the only bonus from kids is a “life tile” which provides a random amount of money from like $1,000-10,000

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15 hours ago, MrShorty said:

Refresh my memory. It seems that there was an earlier version of the Game of Life that included number of children in the final "score" (if memory serves, each child was given a fixed dollar value when figuring your final worth)?  I seem to recall winning one round in part because I had several children, which gave me a sizeable "bonus" at the end which pushed me over the top. I want to say that this was in the '80's maybe early '90's -- though the copy we were playing could have been older still.

https://www.hasbro.com/common/instruct/Life(1977vers).PDF

Each child gave you $24K in retirement.

I like the older version. The newer one plays like Chutes and Ladders by comparison.

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10 minutes ago, mordorbund said:

https://www.hasbro.com/common/instruct/Life(1977vers).PDF

Each child gave you $24K in retirement.

I like the older version. The newer one plays like Chutes and Ladders by comparison.

Well... any game that that uses a spinner, no matter how complex the tile landed on, plays like chutes and ladders. In fact I would argue 90% of popular games are mostly mere chance. There are countless games that rely completely on chance, but add many complexities to the game to provide a faux sense of strategy when playing. For example, Skipbo, uno, chutes and ladders, many dominos games and Life. These games use minimal decision making and when played, a 5 year old will regularity beat a 30 year old due to its nature.

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1 hour ago, Fether said:

Well... any game that that uses a spinner, no matter how complex the tile landed on, plays like chutes and ladders. In fact I would argue 90% of popular games are mostly mere chance. There are countless games that rely completely on chance, but add many complexities to the game to provide a faux sense of strategy when playing. For example, Skipbo, uno, chutes and ladders, many dominos games and Life. These games use minimal decision making and when played, a 5 year old will regularity beat a 30 year old due to its nature.

Sure, there was a lot of chance involved, but many previous options the player had have been removed. They no longer have:

  • bet on the wheel
  • stock (I think they still have it but it's less prominent now)
  • toll bridge (incentivizing the player to take shorter paths to be the first across)
  • millionaire tycoon
  • first millionaire bonus

Some elements they had that are chutes and ladder (in the sense that you only get them based on a roll of the dice), but that allow you to employ strategy in execution:

  • share the wealth cards
  • revenge

I'm not arguing that there wasn't a lot of chance involved, just that there was more strategy options than now.

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33 minutes ago, mordorbund said:

I'm not arguing that there wasn't a lot of chance involved, just that there was more strategy options than now.

I see, and Based on what you are talking about, it seems clear changes were made.

And I’m saying those “strategy options” are just chances dressed up in convincing strategy clothing.

How do you get a share the wealth card? You spin a dial (chance) and draw a card (chance). It’s all statistics and statistically speaking, you will all get the same amount of share the wealth cards and use them to your own benefit. Want to save a lawsuit for when someone uses you or use it as a threat against someone?

Is spinning the “spin to win” wheel a good idea? Is buying stock a good idea? Does getting to the end faster make you more likely to win? Will these things hurt or harm you?  No body knows until the end of the game.

At the end of the day, it’s chutes and ladders with more triggers and options.

Im not saying luck based games aren’t fun or pointless to play (I particularly don’t like luck based games), I’m saying the “strategy” is perfected by individuals almost immediately, it has almost no learning curve.

Games tend to have 4 attributes that meet different needs. Luck, strategy/intellect, speed, and storytelling. Some examples are below. I ordered the attributes in most active to least active (my opinion of course)

Tenzi: Luck and speed

Risk: Story Telling, strategy, luck

Speed: Speed and Luck

War: Luck

Chess: strategy (and perhaps story telling)

Checkers: strategy

Connect 4: Strategy

BANG!: Story telling, Strategy, Luck

Betrayal at House on the Hill: Story telling, luck, strategy

Hand and Foot: Luck and strategy

Pandemic: Story telling, strategy, Luck

Catan: strategy, luck, story telling

I personally prefer games where story telling is a major role. Children prefer luck based games (great introductions to games). My parents prefer luck with minor strategy because it allows for conversation during gameplay.

But I still stand by my statement. Life is primarily a luck and Story telling based game because you cannot decide what you are going to do. There is no active role you take in the game. Strategy only takes effect when you have an activatable card (which you got by luck of the spin and draw).

Edited by Fether

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If I remember, Life and Monopoly both had the same background game from which they were derived.  The original game had the same goal, to win by having the most money, but it was also a morality game...showing how money actually corrupts and focusing on it can be a bad thing.

It is interesting how that was changed so that now, when we play the games it's normally more for fun than the morality, and the morality is actually lost and the focus really is to win by having the most money.

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On 9/15/2019 at 3:07 PM, unixknight said:

I think the game rules have the wrong victory conditions.

If it is too much of a threadjack, please ignore, but I am reminded of another board game I used to like that gave you some flexibility in choosing your "victory" conditions. It was a game called Careers. I forget many of the details, but you basically started the game by figuring out what combination of "love", "money", "fame", and maybe 1 or two other criteria would constitute your victory condition. Then you played the game, pursuing different career paths that would give you varying points in each category. The goal was to be the first to amass the correct number of points in each category and win the game.

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We have that boardgame... but do you know that we've never played it?  We like monopoly - we have several different boards including a Star Wars one.  There's not much life lesson you can take from Monopoly except that when it comes to ganging up against one of the kids or ganging up against my husband... I always end up ganging up against my husband.  What can I say... I'm blood related to my kids but not to my husband.  :D

 

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19 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

If I remember, Life and Monopoly both had the same background game from which they were derived.  The original game had the same goal, to win by having the most money, but it was also a morality game...showing how money actually corrupts and focusing on it can be a bad thing.

It is interesting how that was changed so that now, when we play the games it's normally more for fun than the morality, and the morality is actually lost and the focus really is to win by having the most money.

One of my daughters hates Monopoly. She doesn't like bankrupting other family members, nor winning by driving others to lose. Most of us enjoy the game and like beating each other. We call it competition, and consider it good fun. Too often real life can be a zero-sum game in which winning means others losing. Maybe Monopoly did my child a favor--showing her the virtue of living her life so that everyone in her circle of influence ends up blessed for doing life with her.

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37 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

 I always end up ganging up against my husband.  What can I say... I'm blood related to my kids but not to my husband.  :D

 

Just remember...some day they will launch...but he never will. :itwasntme:

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1 hour ago, anatess2 said:

We have that boardgame... but do you know that we've never played it?  We like monopoly - we have several different boards including a Star Wars one.  There's not much life lesson you can take from Monopoly except that when it comes to ganging up against one of the kids or ganging up against my husband... I always end up ganging up against my husband.  What can I say... I'm blood related to my kids but not to my husband.  :D

 

My family is all to the point where we can engage in shady and complex business deals throughout the game. It is no longer entirely about collecting property and building hotels. Trading, contracts, and house monopolizing is the name of the game when we play. the game becomes very interesting when it becomes a race to see who can monopolize the houses so that no other person can upgrade their property without going from no houses to a hotel, which can cost thousands of dollars depending on the property. Or when you actually successfully corner the housing market (no more houses available for purchase because you purchased and own most of them) and make a deal with the person next to you where you promise to give him access to houses if he gives you half of all income acquired from house rent.

Or if you are playing with enough people, you can secretly go into business together with someone else and pool your money, turns, and resources to build up a powerful real estate empire a lot more quickly and bankrupt everyone else. 

Edited by Fether

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