Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Major Havoc Game

Like any good parent, I cringed when Major Havoc invited me to play a new game that he invented.

His energy and enthusiasm was genuine, so like any good parent, I sat down to play. The rules were relatively simple. Each player roled one die and moved their Lego man across the homemade block board the number of spaces that they rolled. What happened next depended upon on which space they landed.

From “Start”…

If you rolled a one, you landed on the mystery square. When I landed on the mystery square a blast of hot air sent me tumbling into the atmosphere. I landed back at start.

If you rolled a two, you landed on the number four. You moved forward four spaces. That took you to the sixth space, the oval block with the squiggly lines. If you landed on the oval block with the squiggly lines you became silly and fell off the block, sending you back to start.

When you rolled a three, you landed on the vortex. The vortex sucked you down and spit you out…back at start.

After rolling a four, you landed on the wobbly block where you became all wobbly and fell off. Surprisingly, you ended up back at start.

A five on the die moved you to the block with three stars. That was a good thing. When you landed on the block with three stars you won the three stars. Alas, your good fortune was short lived. After winning the stars you were shot up into the air where you floated gently down back to…start.

In fact, almost every block on the board resulted in the player falling off and returning to the beginning. After a dozen turns the boy realized that neither of us was progressing anywhere, so in a page taken from Calvin Ball, he decided that the mystery square (space number one) gave him a free roll. Why?

“Because I changed my mind, dad.”

He rolled a six, which took him to space number “seven.” The block at space number “seven” had an “8” written on it. That moved him all the way to the wooden stars, which he collected as a prize. This also vaulted him past the dreaded “Super Wedgie Block,” named for the fact that if you land on it your feet slide down the sides and…you get the picture.

Blessedly, the game ended moments later when I noticed that it was time for the boy to brush his teeth and go to bed. He invited me to complete the game in the morning, apologizing for not designing a better game. Poor kid, he discovered on his own that his rules weren’t working as well as he had hoped, and like any good parent I lied through my teeth, assuring him that his game was fine and it just needed a little tweeking. This morning he started designing a new board game with more spaces to land upon which result in nothing more than waiting for your next turn as you progress towards some twisted and evil Calvinesque conclusion.

I was really happy to learn that the boy knew the word “vortex” and could use it properly in a sentence. There are other lessons to be learned from this experience, and as soon as I figure them out I’ll let you know.


Teacher Mommy said...


Brownie said...

You are a better parent that I am.

Brownie said...

I didn't know that you are looking at flooding too!

I guess a person gets a bit of tunnel vision when things are happening in their corner of the world.

Our place is fine... I can't sandbag and "lookee-lous" are frowned upon and sometimes arrested - so I just stay put and only travel where and when I need to.

Opus #6 said...

That is really sweet. Glad to see a Dad with the patience to sit with a child while they learn life lessons. Good for you.

Junosmom said...

This is wonderful! Much better than Chutes and Ladders where it goes on and on and on......

Papa Bear said...

For every roll, a different procedure, but you end up in the same place... Sounds like he has a great future writing government forms and regulations!