By Resident Mouse Trap Expert John “Jigsaw” Kramer
In times gone by, playing Monopoly with a bunch of children at Christmas time used to be an arduous task, as there’d be many random rule changes along the way because kids never want to lose. After a few hours of arguing, the board is finally put away in frustration, the crying and tantrums having taken their toll. You’d try again the following Christmas, but soon realise that nothing has changed despite your best efforts, even going so far as to explaining the rules before the game this time. And this becomes tradition. But now during this time of isolation, some politicians are actually encouraging this type of rule cheating, in order to prolong the games and stave off boredom and insanity. Whereas once you could defeat a child in minutes at Monopoly so long as the game is played properly and you don’t give less than 100%, you are now being urged to think creatively and allow everyone playing the chance to conjure up all kinds of unforeseen regulations. I interviewed a Media Strategist for the Lib Dems, Warren Drone, the one who first suggested the idea.
TDJJ: “Mr Drone, thanks for your time for this interview. I understand the need to push this idea through as soon as possible. What was your inspiration for this idea?”
WD: “Well, I was first thinking that everyone should be playing one of the many MMORGs [Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games] available during this time, as they can consume most of your waking hours. And I’ve had a few missed days off work because of them, that’s how good they are. But then I realised that they only tend to cater for a certain demographic. What about the elderly, or girls? I then realised board games are much more universal, everyone can enjoy them, for half an hour or so.”
TDJJ: “You’ve just identified potentially the biggest problem there, that most of them can be played in their entirety in about 30 minutes. How would you possibly extend, say, a single game of hangman for a couple of hours? On average, people play three games of it before getting bored in under 10 minutes.”
WD: “Well, without thinking this through properly beforehand, I’d say choose really obscure place names or types of food, maybe deliberately spell them wrong as well. Also you could use a biology book and give the ‘man’ more body parts to draw each time there’s a wrong answer. Did you know there’s seven bones in the human neck alone?”
TDJJ: “I was unaware of that. I can see how this plan could work, and I guess you could throw in a few curve balls now and again as well. Perhaps the ‘man’ is a freak of nature and has a few extra undefined limbs as well.”
WD: “Yeah that’s the spirit. I raised this idea with a few of my colleagues, and even amongst rival parties, and the conversation soon became increasingly hilarious, with each rule change more outlandish than the last. It was a great success. It was as though our political belief differences vanished while we were talking, and we believe this would extend to the family set up, no matter the political stance or views on racism between the generations.
TDJJ: “I’ve heard that some manufacturers of the board games have been in touch with you about this. What’s the general feedback like?”
WD: “They’re mostly furious. There’s been a lot of cease and desist letters. I’m not sure of the legalities behind what we’re asking people to do, that’s not my department. If you ask me, they need to wake up and smell the coffee. People are getting bored, maybe even the most bored they’ve ever been, they should be grateful that their game is being publicised this way. You never know, their board game could be better if the game take longer to play. I’ve always felt Cluedo needs to have more longevity to it, never liked that game.”
TDJJ: “How would you improve it?”
WD: “More of everything – murder weapons, characters, rooms. Also, if one of the character is found guilty, say it was someone else wearing a mask of that person. Or maybe they were getting bribed to do things because of debt. Really, the sky’s the limit with this. Scrabble with made up words is also a good time waster. Plus, there’s no point in arguing if everyone else is doing it. Winners all round!”