The Game of Life

If you are a fan of board games like I am, you may be familiar with ‘The Game of Life’.  The object of the game is to endure the ups and downs of life and retire wealthy.  The spin of a number wheel determines your luck to a certain degree as you advance your vehicle through life stages.  Although every player must stop to get married and pay taxes, everyone has options for attending post-secondary, choosing a career, or playing the stock market.

Surprises are littered throughout the game board and depending on where you land, you may accumulate a carload of children or have no children at all.  Your house may burn down or be hit by a tornado; your friend may crash your car, or you may win a big lottery.  Life unfolds as you twist and turn your way to retirement and every game reveals a different experience.

As an avid fan of the game, I own two versions.  When comparing the old to new, I notice some interesting differences.  For instance, in the old version you could be rewarded $5,000 for capturing an escaped lion and then on another turn, be billed $30,000 for being rescued from the jungle.  In the new version, you could be rewarded $10,000 for winning a talent contest and then be billed $100,000 for hosting an on-line concert.  The most notable differences however were at the beginning and end of the game.  In the old version, you could have a false start in life and retire “destitute and disgraced!”  In the new version, there are no false starts and instead of retiring disgraced, you could gracefully move into Countryside Acres. Ahh.hhh.hhh!

One other amusing distinction between the two versions is the value of $100,000.  In the old game, $100,000 covers the cost of cleaning a polluted lake while the same amounts covers the cost of cosmetic surgery for yourself in the new version.  In the end, we all want to retire comfortably, whether it is at Countryside Acres or Millionaire Estates, with or without cosmetic surgery!

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