Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Just when you though the frontiers of ignorance were being pushed back...

(When I awoke at the crack of noon I discovered today's post might have been a little premature. The folks at a consumer website were listing some top games, until yesterday their list only included Monopoly and Life. As of today they listed one of our games, Modern Art. Perhaps I should have held this post for a week and re-titled it How A Little Knowledge Can Make You Dangerous. If I were a betting man I'd venture a guess that Acquire and Settlers of Catan top the list. Perhaps the frontiers of ignorance are being pushed back.)

...you read something like this.

For the Christmas season TheSimpleDollar.com is listing the 5 greatest financial boardgames of all time. Their stated purpose is to help readers with gift suggestions. The good news is that Life is on the bottom of the list. The bad news is that Life is on the list.

Monopoly is #4.

The top three games are yet to be announced, but I'll take a stab that Acquire will be #1.

Taking TheSimpleDollar's lead, and in the spirit of the season I created this buying guide for everyday objects that I have only a layman's knowledge and did absolutely no research on.

Top 3 gifts for your teen:

Snoop Dog CD. (I understand those Woodstock birds sing harmonies. Cute.)
Dukes of Hazard-Season 3 compilation.
Atari 2600 game system (Comes with Pac Man!!!).

Top 3 toys for young children:

Slinky.
David Hasslehoff action figure.
"The Fonz" talking doll.

Top 3 gifts for grandparents:

New fangled gadget called the "Clapper" that you have to see to believe.
Viagra.
Electric can opener.

Top 3 gifts for your spouse:

Ironing board.
Betamax recorder.
Vietnamese miniature pig.

Any sixth grade student with a computer and internet link could have stumbled across the 18xx series when writing these articles. Now there's a financial game. But Life? On BGG there are 5 pages of games with 50 games per page based upon commodity speculation alone.

Using their loose definition of "Financial Game" I would have been hard pressed to whittle the list down to five games.

Or

Maybe they will read this, and Chinatown, Princes of Florence, Powergrid, or Age of Steam will get the nod for the top financial game. We'll have to wait and see. I won't be holding my breath.

7 comments:

Dame Koldfoot said...

Ooooohhhh. That's why that one present under the tree keeps squealing and stinking. Guess I missed the top three gifts to give a gamer so you're stuck with a ball cap with soda can holders and pack of disposable plastic gloves for eating Cheetos. Oh, and a copy of Pirates of the Caribbean Monopoly the kids got for you.

MWChapel said...

Your xmas list looks like a take right out of Napoleon Dynamite..

Or a category on $25,000 pyramid..

"Things you can buy at Goodwill Alex!"

Hmmm...I guess a Game of Life would fit in that category too. ;)

Melissa said...

wow, I think I want that clapper thing. What does it do exactly? ;)

Gerald McD said...

Some of those items sound like they came from the 1970's, not today.

Linnaeus said...

Interestingly, Modern Art and Acquire are numbers 3 and 2 respectively, so it's not entirely useless :)

Chris Farrell said...

And while we may not agree with them, their #4 and #5 picks were eminently defensible, and I felt they did a good job of explaining why they picked them. Look, they weren't picking great games, they were picking games as tools to teach various financial concepts. And they did a good job of justifying their picks.

Given all this, and that they then picked Modern Art and Acquire, the level and extent of derision here looks a little silly.

The suggestion that they should have picked 18xx is equally ludicrous. What's the most important lesson about how stocks work? Limited liability, the concept on which all of Western capitalism is based? Let's explicitly not do that in our game.

Coldfoot said...

The more I think about it the more I think I should have held on for a week and used my alternate title.

Life is not an example of a finacial game, much less a fine finacial game. There is nothing in the Game of Life to teach youngsters anything but being a gracious winner or gracious loser. Any rotten game sold at a bookstore with a Winnie-The-Pooh theme or at a religious bookstore has more to teach children about life than Life.

At this point in time Monopoly has been around for over 100 years (70 years since it was mass produced), Life has been around for 140 years. The only reason they appear on a Christmas idea list is because they are games that popped into the author's mind without doing much research.

I guessed that Acquire would be on the list, but even it is 40+ years old. Certainly a questionable pick for a Christmas idea list. Acquire is older than most items on my fake list of stocking stuffers. Certainly no one took my suggestions seriously.

Modern Art did catch me by surprise.