by Diana Nelson Jones/April 29
Board games kept many of us kids from mischief back in the day. "Pop-o-matic" Trouble, Yahtzee, Clue, checkers, Monopoly, Scrabble and, of course, the inimitable Candyland. We played them until our parents had to reattach the sides of the boxes with tape.
Some of us graduated to backgammon; I played a lot of that in college and continued to play card games into adulthood. But the board game stayed on the shelf. Why do we stop playing them when we're grown?
Thank goodness some of us don't.
Shawn Patton, a Greenfielder who designs games for Schell Games, a game-development studio with offices in Pittsburgh and Austin - http://www.schellgames.com - is the man behind the neighborhood's Game Night, an event in its infancy.
The third Game Night starts at 4 p.m. this Sunday at the Greenfield Presbyterian Church, 3929 Coleman St. You are invited to bring your Monopoly, Sorry!, Cranium or any other board game you have or come empty handed and join a team of players around a board game you may never have played.
Shawn writes about games for the Connect Greenfield blog: http://connectgreenfield.com/new/wordpress/?cat=7.
He played board games with family and friends as a kid and promotes the idea that playing games is a social remedy to the passive experience of watching TV and movies.
"Many people think of the classics when board games are mentioned: Monopoly, Scrabble, Chutes and Ladders, but there are so many out there and some of the newer ones are really interesting and very enjoyable. I wanted to write the blog articles to showcase the games that I know and love and share them with the community to encourage people to get together and play some games.
"Interestingly enough, after writing the article for a couple months, people would see me at Connect Greenfield events and ask when the next Game Night is. After explaining a bunch of times that it didn't exist as an actual event, I finally realized I should make it, well, an actual event. Our first was a lot of fun, our second was snowed out, and the third is coming up."
He said the focus at Schell Games is on video games but writes "the tenets of good game design cross mediums easily and so I like to focus a little in the articles on cool game mechanics and sort of shine a light on why I think the games I review work so well."