What Happened to Family Game Night?

With the holidays quickly approaching, I've found myself searching the internet for "top toys." It’s not that my kids must have the “top,” but this specific search is an easy way to sift through the oodles of toys they beg for. If their friends have it, or they see it in a commercial, they want it. This “gotta have everything" attitude makes narrowing it down to 8 presents – we’re Jewish -- nearly impossible.

Since one of my favorite things to do with the kids is play board games, I started my search there. I know, a board game is no Razor Riprider 360, but it certainly trumps a book. So, in searching for the most popular games this season, I came across a slew of virtual board games for Wii. Among them, I found Hasbro’s Family Game Night 1 and 2. They include such classics as Sorry, Connect Four, and Operation as well as newer games like Pictureka, and Jenga.

The Wii games seemed pretty cool, but isn’t there something to be said about the feel of dice in your hand, or knocking out your brother’s Sorry piece, and physically placing it back on Start? Call me old fashioned, but where's the fun in playing Operation or Jenga on screen? Doesn't it take away the nervous anticipation of getting zapped, or knocking down the tower? Sure, there’s less clean up, and Wii doesn’t take up as much space, but it makes me wonder, does everything need to go high tech?

My kids, on the other hand, would love a game like this. Things that aren’t high tech tend to confuse them. We were playing regular old Uno last week, and my daughter ran to the bathroom yelling, “I gotta pee, push Pause.” I looked at my son, pretended to pick up a remote control, and aimed it at him. We both froze until she got back, and then we started laughing hysterically. I guess game night is still fun after all.

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