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Board Games From My Childhood in the 70's
Old Monopoly Set
Board Games from the Seventies
Yes, I confess. I am old enough to remember the seventies. (Although my teen years were spent in the eighties.) I don't like to admit it very often but a question about board games from my childhood got me back to thinking to those "vintage board games" from my childhood.
Board games were a big part of my childhood. Yes, this was the pre-video games era. And even when the video games came, let's face it: Pong really wasn't too stimulating for a young girl!
Board games were a great way to while away the afternoon, with my sister and a couple of friends. They were competitive and they represented entertainment at its best for the seventies. Here are the board games I played in the seventies. Surprisingly, all of them are around today.
1. Pay Day
The first board game I remember playing was Pay Day. I think Pay Day must have been designed by a gentleman determined to teach kids that real life was hard, and you never really get ahead. Because you rarely seemed to get rich in Payday. The game was designed to be a calendar. You got paid at the end of every month, and played for a certain amount of months.
The thing I liked about Pay Day was that it seemed to be so real to life. It closely resembled my parents' life: you got bills, you got mail and you took Sundays off. Even adults seemed to enjoy this game, even though I am sure it wasn't a novelty for them! I also loved being the banker in Pay Day because it added some extra excitement and challenge.
FUN FACTS ABOUT PAY DAY
- The game, Pay Day, came out in 1975, and that year, sold more copies than Monopoly.
- The original game gave you $325 in cash; today's game gives you $3500.
Monopoly was the next game that I remember playing during my childhood in the seventies. Now, Monopoly, unlike Pay Day, actually believed that some people got rich. Getting rich was the goal of this game but it sure took a long time!
I remember playing with my sister and a friend for endless hours on a Saturday afternoon. The game was a commitment that only the fearless would take on. Winning the game required you to take over a whole city and become a ruthless tycoon. All of those acquisitions and mergers took time.
I'm not sure what Monopoly was supposed to teach us: that monopolies were bad? Or that they are actually good, and that we should all desire to be Bill Gates? I don't know what it was supposed to teach us, but I think we did learn that real estate was definitely the best way to make money!
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT MONOPOLY
- The game was first started by a woman named Elizabeth Magie in 1903. Her goal in inventing the game was to demonstrate the evil of monopolies. Well, I think her plan may have backfired!
- Special editions of the game were created during the World War to send to prisoners of war that included tools for escape, such as maps, compasses and real money.
- There are both UK and US versions of the game. As well, there is a "Calgary" game, and many other versions created in the last few years, including an electronic banking version. Hey, I think the banker's job just got eliminated!
Vintage Commercial for PayDay And Sorry
Stock Ticker Board Game
Stock Ticker Was A Rare Game
Have you ever heard of Stock Ticker Before?
3. Stock Ticker
The next game I remember playing in the 70's is called Stock Ticker. Funny thing is, this is another one about money. With all the board games I played about money in the 1970s, you would expect me to be rich by now! But I'm not.
So, Stock Ticker, like it sounds, was about buying stocks. Each player was given $5000 to buy stocks from the Stock Market, at $1.00 a piece. And then, after all the stocks were bought, the whole game was about the stocks going up and down the stock market. If they were above par, the stocks paid dividends. If they weren't, they didn't. If they went to $2.00 (a very rare occasion), they split and you made double of whatever you had of the stock. If it went to $0.00 you went belly up for that particular stock and lost it all.
Stock Ticker was a lot of fun, and it was challenging because you really took chances on when you bought, and when you sold. It work in a very similar fashion to the real stock market. The stocks you bought were mostly the commodities: gold, silver, grain, grain. Bonds and industrial were also in the mix.
My sister and I loved playing this game. I think it made us feel grown up. We were making decisions with large sums of money, and taking risks. It seemed glamourous. No one we knew was investing large sums of money. We were lucky if we paid our bills but in this game, money was something for playing and having fun.
You can now play Stock Ticker online. (Sort of -- it looks like it's just a one-player game.) Obviously, I'm not the only one that remembers this classic game!
Here's the link: Stock Ticker Classic
The Weapons of Clue
The last board game I remember playing from the seventies was Clue. Finally a game that was not about money! No, instead, this game focused on: murder! One person was killed off, somewhere in this big house, with some very sinister-sounding weapon, and we had to figure out who had done the deed.
Clue was a game that required more players, so we usually played it with some adults. Plus, it was pretty complex to set up. It was such a social game: figuring out the mystery required lots of talking and chatting and conning. Thinking about it, Clue was a game of social cues. You had to watch other people's faces to try to determine who was bluffing, who was straight-shooting.
I loved Clue because it had a mystery to it. The suspense stayed all the way to the end of the game. And it was interactive: you had to work with all the clues to determine who the assassin was. And it was creative. It was like being in the middle of a real mystery. I loved it!
Which Game Was Your Favourite?
Of the games in this article, which did (do) you like the best?
It's hard to believe sometimes that I grew up in the seventies. The times when people said "car seats," they meant a place for adults or children to sit. When our idea of high-tech was a brand-new eight-track player. And the only way to download music was to listen to the radio, and catch your favourite song.
But in those pre-computer days, we never expected to have screens to entertain us at every given moment. When we were too old to play with toys and too young to play with boys, board games were there to fill in the gap.
The games I remembered gave a taste of real life. They were structured and allowed us to experience things we might never have in any other way. And most of all, board games got us playing together. We weren't all staring at a screen, away from each other. We were looking at each, laughing and talking. Good times!
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