Friday, April 15

You say "trivial," I say "learned" *

Great article in Slate about the complex appeal of Trivial Pursuit, which I humbly submit as the best board game of all time. And yes, this may have something to do with the fact that I am nearly unbeatable. I know my wife loves me because she (occasionally, as a rare treat) will consent to play with me.

However, because I am a heartless bastard who hates to lose, I refuse to play Boggle with her (a game in which she recently was designated a grand master).

The article points out that the game was initially intended to make Baby Boomers feel cool, and to delude them into believing that having an encyclopedic knowledge of some crap '60s TV show was actually useful in some way, however small.
But ironically enough, it's the offspring of the boomers like myself that really soaked the game up, because it literally gave us a seat at the grown-up table.
I remember my grandparents' astonishment when I correctly answered that Radar O'Reilly's favorite drink was Grape Nehi—a fact I'm pretty sure I learned directly from a Trivial Pursuit card.
The thing I like best is that despite appearances Trivial Pursuit doesn't rely on the brainless memorization of a million useless facts (although that does help) but rather on deductive reasoning and an understanding of the quirky sensibility of the game.

Nowadays my only problem is finding fresh victims to play with...aside from my loving wife, not many people want to play twice.

G: Thailand
E: From Here to Eternity
H: Henry Kissinger
AL: $0.25, (the card actually says $0.10; the MAD FAQ explains)
SN: Seeds
SL: Duke Snider

*"Pepe: Tell me more! I want to know all the constellations!
Homer: Well, there's... Jerry, the cowboy. And that big dipper-looking thing is Alan... the cowboy.
Pepi: Oh, Papa Homer, you are so learned [learn\├ęd].
Homer: Heh heh heh. Learned [learn'd'], son. It's pronounced learned [learn'd]."

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