Board game

We play a lot of games at our house. My kids and their friends love games, too.

My 3-year-old has mastered Candyland and is onto Monopoly Jr., and my 7-year-old is always looking for something new and challenging.

As we’ve played games with our kids over the last five years, I've noticed some of the classic games seem to have gotten easier over time. Three specific games I’ve noticed this on are Monopoly, Candyland and Sleeping Queens.

» Monopoly: When I was a kid, you paid all taxes and fees to the middle of the game board, and if someone landed on “free parking,” they got to have all the money in the pile. Present day versions of Monopoly simply list “free parking” as a resting space. A friend and I were discussing it recently, and the only reason for the change that we could come up with is that it could shorten the game. The less money one collects, the quicker they run out and the quicker the game ends.

» Candyland: My mom, grandparents and I all own Candyland. The one my mom owns is from when I was a child; the one my grandparents have is about 15 years old; and I have a version that is recent. These games have evolved a decent amount. The shortcuts have gotten more extreme, the character spaces have increased toward the end of the route and the number of cards with double spaces versus single spaces have increased exponentially. All of these things make the game substantially easier than it’s counterpart from 35 years ago.

» Sleeping Queens: This card game isn’t as well known, but my daughter and her friends love it. A mere six months after I bought the game for my daughter, her friend’s mom purchased the same game and guess what? It isn’t the same! The point values on some of the queens had increased, making it easier and quicker to win. We actually prefer the original way.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about the reason for the changes to each of these games, which makes them all shorter and easier. While I can’t be sure, my hunch is that it has to do with the attention span of kids today.

Are all of the options, electronics and activities offered to our kids today now causing lower attention spans? Does this then cause board game manufacturers to make things easier? Or is the fact that things are being made easier inadvertently causing lower attention spans?

Board-game-loving parents out there — what other games have you noticed changes in? What do you think is the reason for it?

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Jaime Wyant is a 33-year-old Omaha native, wife to Bret and mother to Marin and Liam. She writes monthly for Momaha.com. Read more from Jaime here.

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