18 February 2009

bug-building game

a clue on today's times crossword brought a blast from my past. i haven't thought about cootie, the game where you assemble plastic insects, in years -- decades maybe.

i can't say i remember the rules to this game, but a quick look at wikipedia suggests that the rules are staggeringly simple. the six body parts -- legs, body, head, ears, eyes, tongue -- correspond to the six sides of a die; you pick up what you roll. now why would such a facile and strategy-free game be so beloved, one of its manufacturers' best-sellers?

is it because they are bugs? i mean, if you had to collect six other things -- straws maybe, or shoelace tips -- i can't see 50 years of success. but cooties, kids love them. looking at that picture, i remember being particularly fond of the tongue.

or maybe kids don't need too much zip in their games. remember candy land? or chutes and ladders? i loved when bill and nikki played go fish on big love a couple of weeks ago. why would anybody over the age of 4 play these "games" anymore? i suppose they're like primers, getting kids versed in the rituals of dice rolling, marching your piece forwards or backwards across a board, drawing and discarding, etc.

do kids even play board games anymore? i wonder if they go straight to the video game console; instead of building plastic cooties, designing insect societies in sim antfarm.

1 comment:

Tami said...

i used to play cootie with my grandpa. was it really that simple? i can't imagine. then again, my "rules" when playing boggle with my family were that i could write anything down that was in the room whether it was on the board or not.