Why Being Good at Strategy Board Games Make You a Bad Person, DAD

Megan Goetz | Mar 6, 2017

It's an all too familiar situation. You were guilted into visiting your parents since you forgot to call them recently. Rookie mistake. Now all you can do is pray that your dad wants to watch "The Big Bang Theory". Yes, that show is the better alternative. That's when you hear the faint rustle coming from the game closet. Bad news, it's board game night.

Part 1) People’s Weird Affinity with Strategy Board Games

I don't get why you love it, Dad! It’s hard to understand the love that friends and family alike have for Risk and Settlers of the Catan. You do the best you can day to day, coping with this daunting fact. Life is stressful enough without having to use my full brain so my Dad knows he’s not THAT much better than me. Board game lovers were the kids who did extra multiplication problems in math class. They’re nerds. There’s a correlation between people who enjoy board games and people who plan each second of their day. They're not spontaneous, ergo definitely poor lovers. The only thing they know how to love is strategy games. My dad loves strategy board games. He also seems to love ruining family gatherings.

Part 2) Way Too Much Thought Involved

Leading to my next point, who enjoys thinking this much, Dad? I like games, games are cool. I’ll play Mousetrap, Operation, even Trouble! I simply refuse to play the board game equivalent of a math problem, Dad. If I was good at planning ahead, I would have been two steps ahead of you, in my bed, ignoring family game night. But here we are, and yes it’s your turn, Dad. The point of board games is to enjoy each other’s company and get drunk off of mom's weird wine. You’re not able to do that during strategy games. Well, you can, but it will not help in the long run. Apparently, “no making up new rules” is already an established rule in strategy games. Sorry Dad, I thought getting drunk and making new rules was the ULTIMATE strategy. Guess not.

Part 3) You're a Terrible Person and You're Tearing This Family Apart

You're ruining this family, Dad! Nothing good comes from strategy board games. I’ve never ended one, so I don’t know if at the end the winner has cash rained down upon them. Even if that’s so, I would have never been the winner in the first place. The board game always ends when my dad smugly tells me his next 5 moves. Then, despite my best efforts, he follows through on each one. After the fifth move I’m out. We get it, Dad. You were in the “Risk” club at your college. I’m so proud to be your daughter. At what point are you willing to put your plastic men aside? Put your family first and freakin’ give me back Australia. I had it fair and square and you came in like a wrecking ball. You Miley Cyrus’d me in front of Grandma. I hope you’re proud of yourself.

Part 4) Final Thoughts

Can we please play something else, Dad? Dear god, I will do anything else. There’s got to be some other way to bond with this family. Preferably one that doesn’t devolve into me showing my dad I will not uphold his strategic legacy. Playing these games you learn you can’t even trust the people who you hold closest. When you’re down and out in Monopoly they, too, will give you terrible deals. They will watch your empire fall down around you. They won't even help you bail out of jail. How can you even love a sibling after that treatment? Strategy games help you learn to manipulate the people you hold close. Trust me, this has nothing to do with how terrible I am at them. This is a real problem we’re facing in America today. It needs to end, Dad.

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