It's nearly Christmas here in the US, a good time to reminisce about the decades before video games existed, when classic board games like Monopoly, Scrabble and Life greeted eager young eyes after Santa Claus stopped by, dropping them under the tree in the .000000000000027 seconds his incredibly tight schedule allots to every good girl and boy the world over, his muscles miraculously not ripping themselves apart with fundamental inelasticity.
Of course, not all of the old board games were timeless classics. Take, for example, Milton Bradley's Park and Shop, which celebrates stressful, pre-mall consumerism:
This, it would seem, is a game without a target audience.
A game about driving might have made young boys smile; Mille Bornes is an enduring classic. A game about shopping might have appealed to young girls, at least if the makers of Mall Madness were on the right track.
But a game about finding a parking spot, shopping as fast as possible, and rushing home? That's not fun, that's work.
It's a good thing Park and Shop wasn't a major hit, or we might have been subjected to further games in this ultra-mundane mold. Fortunately, market forces took pity on the children who might otherwise have had to endure Rake and Mow, Mop and Clean, Earn and Spend, Hope and Worry, Eat and Poop, or Die and Rot.
No fun for the whole family!