#175: Was it REALLY that bad?*

My brother is almost two years older than me. I have many childhood memories of sitting around bored, begging him to play “Risk” with me, and then enduring a long and torturous defeat. And then repeating the whole familiar pattern, over and over and over.

There are two curious things about these memories. First is the strange appeal of all those tiny pieces moving about on the pretty pretty board. Second is the sheer debilitating horror of drawn-out defeat.

Sadly, it’s the first part of my memories that stuck with me. So, after begging various people to play with me, CJ caved and said yes.

This is him reading the rules. (Is it fun yet???!!!)

This is him turning to drink (is it fun yet?!?!?!?!) before we actually started (my drink – who else would put a margerita ring of pink sugar on a frangelico and milk cocktail?)

And this is him (blue) conceding defeat to me (yellow). Is it fun NOW?!

No it is not!

Even though I won the game (very possibly for the first time ever; certainly for the first time in almost two decades), I still walked away sick to the stomach with despair.

What is it that’s so awful about Risk?

1. You never gain anything without the other person dying (unlike, say, Setters, in which you mostly just build stuff and say, “Yay”). Also, it’s surprisingly disheartening to lose an entire country and/or continent. Just ask Hitler.

2. Dice are mean. Life is arbitrarily awful enough without games to make us feel helpless to control our own fate.

3. And of course, the thing everyone remembers (even me, if I’m honest): The winner is decided pretty early on, and 90% of every game is spent slowly grinding one’s friend into the barren sands of defeat.

The unique geography of the board is also strangely off-putting.

It’s good to know my horrific memories of this depression-inducing game are 100% on the ball.

In happier news, Sawi has survived yesterday’s boar attack, and is probably looking at a view similar to this one, from Flickr.com:

Coming soon: Alphabet! Three-Ingredient Thursday! Go shopping in an antique shop in a small town! Silliness with a pirate ship! Other stuff!

*yes

6 thoughts on “#175: Was it REALLY that bad?*

  1. I have very fond memories of Risk games that lasted days…. Mind you, this was at Uni, and usually involved quite large quantities of alcohol….

    • I can see how alcohol would help. A friend of mine saw “Happy Feet” then decided that it would be much better with beer. I believe he was pleased with the result.

  2. I’ve never played Risk on a board. I did go through a six-month or so period in my teens where I played it a lot on the computer (before I rediscovered Civilisation!).

  3. It is truly a testament to the effectiveness of advertising that anyone continues to play Boardgames at all. Ever.
    They are all such boredom-inducing cringe-fests that they only could have survived through the magic of human suggestibility and/or mass-brainwashing on a massive scale…

    • W: computer risk is ok, I believe – far less personal (even if you play with other humans). But civ is much better.

    • Ben: Good to see you providing the voice of reason as usual. Card games are soooo much better, especially when you know a lot of Myers-Briggs ‘P’ types.

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