When did the game of Life get so…real?

All's fair in love and Life.On Tuesday, I joined a few of my friends in the game of Life. You know, that colourful board game where you pick careers and salaries from a small pile and somehow an eight-bedroom house only costs $200,000. If only real life was that easy.

But while we were playing, I noticed a few interesting changes from how this game was played when I was a kid, or even a teenager. Certain, Life Lessons if you will. Some of these come down to new game mechanics or attributes for careers, but others are new ways of playing the game.

First, in a game of five, only one person went to college.
Why is this relevant? When I was a kid, I remember that everybody went to college and took out a $100,000 loan, wishing they pulled the doctor or an accountant career to get that elusive $100,000 salary card early in the game. In our game? Four of us started career paths immediately and that $100,000 card bounced around like crazy due to people landing on spaces and taking advantage of specials.

Life lesson? Bye-bye, college.

Second, everybody (but one, the same one who went to college) bought stock immediately. What I used to think was a gamble of the game turned out to be a lucrative investment. My number was nine, my stock cost $50,000 and it was rolled more than a dozen times throughout the game. Pure profit. The final hold-out ended up getting a very good stock later in the game, too bad; his number was spun almost 10 times before he purchased it.

Life lesson? Don’t miss out, buy stocks now!

Third? We all bought house insurance right off the bat. A quick scan of the board determined that there were multiple ways to lose, and with insurance so small, why not? Oddly enough, there are very few automobile insurance squares and most only happened early (when your character is “younger”, so that wasn’t worth the purchase. If it was like real life, you’d have more accidents while younger and older, but, c’est la vie!

Life lesson? Home insurance is worth it, at least in Life. 😉

The lucrative Life spinner!

Finally, we paid extra special attention to the benefits of our chosen careers. I was the tech consultant and received $50,000 whenever somebody dislodged the spinner, a lucrative job in a game that is poking fun at its own broken mechanism. The accountant collected residuals on all stock and insurance purchases and the entertainer repeatedly stole back the $100,000 salary card whenever double 8s, 9s or 10s were rolled.

Life lesson? Sometimes the perks of your job are better than your actual salary. Bonuses!

In the end, it was actually a tight game. I won by a mere $250 which isn’t that much in the scheme of things. It was a much more complicated game than I remembered, but our strategies were the most fascinating change overall.

Looks like there’s more to Life than I had once expected. Candyland however? Candyland still sucks.

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