It’s amazing how much fun you can have as a kid. I remember making up fun things to do when I was young. Even when I was over at someone else’s house and didn’t have my LEGOs, I could always find something to do. I always liked playing games. I would play dominoes or cards with anybody who would sit next to me. I spent years over at the Foster house playing Dungeons & Dragons with Tony, Michael, and Geoff.
Even before we could afford to buy games we entertained ourselves with made up games. I remember playing with little green army men in James’ back yard. At first we would just line them up and say “I shot you!” This was usually followed by “No you didn’t, I dodged!” That got old pretty fast so eventually we starting using dice to see if we hit or missed.
The more we played, the more complex the rules became. The crouching army man was a little harder to hit and the army man laying flat was the hardest to hit. Somewhere there’s a 20-year-old scrap of paper with all of our rules scribbled on it. I’d give just about anything for that piece of paper today.
At one point I even thought about selling my own games as a career. I remember a time when you could buy simple role-playing games for a few dollars. They were printed on plain paper, folded in half, stapled, and stuffed in ziplock bags. Of course the older I got, the less games I played. Our game of army men and dice somehow evolved into army men and fire crackers. This was a lot of fun, but we eventually ran out of army men. Then computers came out and the idea of selling pen and paper games seemed crazy.
Fortunately, there are still people making up their own games and with the internet they can share them with everybody. It was actually one of these games that inspired me to write this post: 1000 Blank White Cards. This is just the kind of thing I would’ve loved as a kid.
The idea is pretty simple. Pass out some blank cards to each player. Everyone makes up their own cards and assigns point values to each one. Then gather up everyone’s cards, shuffle them together, deal, and play. When it’s your turn, take the top card from the deck and then play one of the cards from your hand either on yourself, another player, or on all players.
This sounds like a great way to waste an evening (or two). We’ll have to try this the next time a few people are over. Maybe afterwards I’ll play one more round of army men and fire crackers, for old time’s sake.