A Season of Stuff: The game of life

A Season of Stuff is a writing challenge that I will be doing for the length of Spring 2016.  The plan – to pick some object from within my personal possessions each day and write about it – its history, its significance, etc.  Come on in – check out my stuff.


I don’t think I took any board games along with me my freshman year of college.  But starting my sophomore year, once I was in something of a proper apartment, I slowly began taking the board games out of my parents’ house and back with me to college.  I think the first two to make their way with me were Trouble (with the pop-o-matic bubble) and The Game of Life.  By this point I think I have all of our better games from when we were kids – our original Monopoly, Payday, Connect Four.

I really like Life because it fits nicely between the simplicity of something like Trouble (or Sorry or any of those other simple roll and move forward games) and the complications of Monopoly.  Yes, there are a lot of rules and things to remember, but if you forget to do some of the things, you can still play the game and have fun.  But you can also be a sneaky dick and remind people of the rules when it benefits you or vice versa.  And it’s got a defined beginning and end – none of this neverending game nonsense of Monopoly or Payday.  People don’t get angry like they do over Risk, Monopoly or fuckin’ Uno.

Its largely a game of luck (and the ability to actually spin that wheel that always seems to cause lots of people trouble), but there’s enough illusions of choice (buy insurance?  buy stock?) that it keeps things interesting.

There are lots of really out of wack dollar amounts on the board too.  Spend $30,000 on advertising your business, but then a roll later you’re buying a house for $15,000?

And there’s dumb shit on there like “Ram iceberg with yacht.  Get rich selling icecubes. Collect $100,000.” (paraphrased, not looking at the board right now).

Doing some quick research,  it looks like we have the 1978 version of the game.  Look at that box cover.  Don’t those people just scream 1978?

Fun thing about this box is that during its time residing in my sophomore/junior year apartment (the aforementioned F7), a scrawled note was added to the upper corner. Clearly the writing is that of my old roommate Leon Lutz.  The note reads “Bleed.  Ebullition” with a date and phone number listed.  Clearly Leon taking notes for a show that he was promoting for the Philadelphia band Bleed on Ebullition Records.  Ahhh the boundaries of property in the communal punk house.


Really digging the Mondrian-like layout of this photo

So  come on over and play The Game of Life sometime.  I’m the orange car.


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