The “Game Of Life” Has Changed Drastically Even For Our Early Elementary Grandchildren With More Choices Than We Boomer Grandparents Ever Imagined

AmazonThe 50th Anniversary of “The Game Of Life” is considered the classic edition. The original game came out in 1960, when this Grandma was at the end of high school years, about to embark on my own game of life. I guess we Boomers are the classic edition.

The “twists and turns” of life seemed simpler when we were embarking on life and the choices seemed more limited. In the original version of the game, home prices and salaries were much smaller, and we did not fixate on a variety of options that were unspoken and beyond what society embraced. As a matter of fact, just like we women really experienced in the 1960’s, women’s opportunities and horizons were different in the classic game of life.

The differences of my early life and my eight year old grandson’s life startled me when we played his version of “The Game of Life.” It is a version sold exclusively on Amazon.

Right from the first, when it came time to marry, my eight year old grandson asked me if I wanted to marry a man, a woman, or someone who was both or if I cared. Granted, he is a genius. I know we grandparents all think our grandchildren are geniuses, but he is gifted. I did not ask him how he knew about such choices. It is a different world than my classic world when I was eight.  Of course, just this week, Merriam-Webster added a new definition of the word “they” to its dictionary, which pronoun may be used to refer to a “single person whose gender identity is nonbinary,” as different identities and alternative gender markers are now common in his world.

His choice to take the college route was similarly advanced, choosing a lifetime of increased earning potential versus immediate gratification. He understood this concept and used this vocabulary at age eight, and I cannot just attribute this to the game itself.

His choice to have as many children as possible was attributed to the game by me. I asked him why. He said it was because you get $50,000 per child at the end of the game. He asked why I wanted few children and took another path in the game. I explained that children are expensive to raise so I wanted few of them. At eight years old, he had no concept of what I was saying. He is a young child, after all, when, because he is so smart and intuitive, I always consider him an adult in a child’s body.

He does love this “Game of Life,” and I hope I live long enough to see him succeed in his real life. Then, his baby brother, eighteen months old, took my I Phone and had a babbling conversation with his aunt on FaceTime as if she were present with us and could understand him completely. I wonder the differences eight more years will bring to his expansive electronic driven world, even more than to his older brothers.

“The Game of Life” we played took an hour and a half, which flew by. The cards and actions they require for choice of marriage, children, career, home and vacations, to retirement, have been sources of bad on line reviews, as they seem trivial and silly in this version. However, talking about everyday silly is fun with an eight year old. Comparing his life to mine at his age gave us a meaningful commonality.

There are other versions of The Game of Life in this day and age, which might resonate with your grandchild’s age and interests, or yours:

The Game of Life Junior

The Game of Life Junior Game is for ages 5 and up, easy, and a good way to begin to introduce young grandchildren to The Game of Life.  Buy at Amazon:

Despicable Me Minion The Game of Life

This version of The Game of Life is also self explanatory, for younger Minions fans, ages 5 and up, with wacky escapades and collecting bananas.  Buy at Amazon:

The Game of Life Electronic Banking

For those grandchildren for whom a credit card universe has replaced cash, The Game of Life Electronic Banking Edition includes an electronic unit that keeps track of everyone’s funds with a card system and when you get your salary or pay the bank, you use your card swipe to make the transaction.  Buy at Amazon.

The Game of Life Twists & Turns

This version of the Game of Life uses a credit card instead of cash too, but has many more choices as one goes through life, allowing experimentation and changes along the way.  This grandchild’s older brother wants to be a professional hockey player, and this version allows him to see the pros and cons of life choices before he actually makes them in real life.  Reviews say it give more life choices than just accumulating money.   Buy at Amazon:

Disney Theme Parks Exclusive The Game of Life Haunted Mansion Edition

This version of The Game of Life is self explanatory, and for those Disney addicts.  Buy at Amazon:

The Game of Life: Star Wars – Jedi’s Path

This version of The Game of Life is also self explanatory, and for those Star Wars fans.  Buy at Amazon:

The Game of Life TripAdvisor Edition

There is even a version of The Game of Life with vacation cards inspired by TripAvisor, for those of us and grandchildren over age 8 whose lives revolve around when we can go on the next dream vacation!  Buy at Amazon:

You guessed it.  My eight year old grandson’s version of The Game of Life is my favorite.  This classic, now a Boomer Grandmother, has seen so many life changes and experienced so many life challenges, but they seem to keep coming faster and faster in real life. Although I like the varied choices in life my grandchildren now have, I do not envy my grandchildren their expanded and expansive world. As much as I hate to admit it, I am happy to adapt to the observer role and “play along” and receive the “naches” ( a Yiddish word meaning pride and joy) from watching them maneuver their future “Game of Life,” whichever paths they choose with



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