If you’re anything like me you spend a lot of your time being right about a great many things. Furthermore, if you’re anything like me, you’ll find that trying to improve the lives of others by gently correcting thought-patterns and behaviour is not only rather burdensome, but often goes unappreciated. Some even react negatively to being helped in this way. I know, right? Thirdly, if you’re anything like me, you will have recently spent some extended time in the company of those with whom you share genetic and legal kinship. Finally, if you’re anything like me, you’ll have noticed an opportunity…
My family has always been one to bust out a drowsy game of Pictionary, Balderdash or, baby Jesus forbid, Logo after a nice tryptophan-laden Christmas dinner. Of course, since my own tumble down the cardboard rabbit-hole I know now there is a new way, a better way, and what kind of friend and/or relative would I be if I don’t try to make sure everyone else knows about it as well?
After some thought about appropriate levels of complexity and a little spatial manipulation I managed to squeeze The Resistance, Bunny Bunny Moose Moose and Dixit itself into the Dixit box ready for transit. Let the experiments begin!
Experiment #1: Effects of Woodland Fauna on Humans Aged 4-63
The Sunday before Christmas the afternoon was spent with my paternal aunt’s family. After dinner my cousin, my other cousin’s children, Dad, Madam Prawn and myself underwent exposure to Bunny Bunny Moose Moose.
The results were mixed, all professed confusion at first, though continued in good spirits. Cousins spouse engaged in bouts of spontaneous laughter at spectacle, and cousin’s four-year-old quietly folded player card into as small a size as she could without anyone noticing.
Conclusions: Speed of play is highly dependent on reading ability. Bunny Bunny Moose Moose may have all the trappings of light party game, but is surprisingly complex in terms of scoring. 11-year-old girls cope better with this than 30-60 year old men. Never underestimate the destructive capability of a silent little girl.
Experiment #2: Effects of Prolonged Exposure to French Whimsicality.
Deciding the long-term effects of attempted indoctrination needed to be assessed, I suggested a game of Dixit in the post-presents/pre-lunch lull on Christmas Day. The subjects were both parents, brother, brother’s boyfriend, Madam Prawn and myself. After completion of the first game another was instigated immediately. Another two were then undertaken after lunch at brother’s request.
This time the results were unequivocal. A positive reaction was shown by all, with responses typical of enjoyment being exhibited by all parties, along with questions about availability and price of game being played.
Conclusions: More evidence acquired for the universal appeal of storybook-like artwork. Polish idioms translated literally into English are excellent at describing nearly every Dixit card. Makers of the game should really be paying me sales commission.
Experiment #3: Study of Sudden Contrasts on the Intoxicated/Drowsy
For the final Assessment it was necessary to wait for the correct conditions to manifest. After tea and several hours of imbibing alcohol, parents initiated play of a TV quiz-show based trivia game they had acquired, “The Chase”. The game was poorly designed, to the extent that all but three of the players are eliminated two-thirds of the way through, and of the remainder two are merely playing to stop the third from winning, being unable to win themselves. In an attempt to provide stark contrast between this and good game design, The Resistance was played.
Results were again mixed. Brother, mother, Madam Prawn and I enjoyed experience, though tired and inebriated. Father had trouble grasping rules and/or principles of play and had sub-par experience. Brother and I were spies and unable to ensure only one fail card was played when we were both selected for a mission, and as a result were quickly discovered.
Conclusions: Tiredness and alcohol have detrimental effects deduction and reasoning faculties, but majority of subjects will retain enough sense to experience enjoyment and notice the bloomin’ obvious. It is difficult to give unequivocal instruction with an eyeball-based gesture. “Based on the popular ITV game show” is never a reason to buy a board game.