Another weekend, another get-together by my coworkers. This week, instead of make your own pizza, it was gumbo night. That's cool, I like rice, and the cooks didn't make it spicy, which suits me. I don't have much tolerance for spicy foods.
Then there was more game-playing, starting with some 90s edition Trivial Pursuit. Despite my decent-sized based of random knowledge, I'm not a big fan of Trivial Pursuit. When I was much younger, I played against my father, and was asked to name the largest cat in the world. From various books, I knew the answer was the Siberian Tiger, but the fellows who made the game said lion*. Even though I could go and retrieve a book which supported my assertion, my dad refused to give me credit for the right answer**.
My coworkers also played a little differently than I was accustomed. If your team answered a question correctly, you earned another roll, and could keep rolling until you missed a question. Which is a fine reward for answering correctly, but it meant that one team could be answering questions for 10 minutes***, and with 3 teams, a team could go close to 20 minutes without getting a chance to roll. With my family, you rolled, answered a question, then, correct or not, the next person rolled. Also, I think the board has too many "Roll Again" squares. All the teams (mine included) had stretches where they rolled five or six times in a row, hopping between those squares, trying to land on the squares where pie pieces could be earned. It's a little absurd. I think one "Roll Again" in the spaces between those squares would be better than two.
Then they trotted out a game called Apples to Apples. The idea was everyone takes 7 Red Apple cards, then you go around the table, each person getting to be the judge. The judge draws a Green Apple card, and reads it aloud. It's a word, happy, furious, smart, whatever. All the other players must select one of their Red Apple cards (which have names, or things, or activities on them) they feel fits most accurately, and slide them facedown to the judge. The judge reads the choices aloud, and selects which one best represents the word. The person who submitted that card gets the Green Apple card. Person who collects the most Green Apple cards, or reaches a certain number first, wins.
The problem is that everyone's definition of what fits best is different. Some people specifically chose ones that were the opposite, and that was why they chose it****. So the edge goes to people who know each other well, because they can then predict which card will strike the right note with that judge, to earn them the green card. Which seems to stack the deck against people who are new to the group, but I'm not sure how that would be addressed, without robbing the game of some of its spontaneity. Maybe you can't. I finished in the middle of the pack. There were a few people I was ahead of, but I also had several ahead of me. I didn't really try and guess what the judge would prefer. I tended to pick either what I felt fit best, or what I thought would be funniest. I'm not sure which strategy worked better.
One thing I wasn't clear on. Certain Red Apple cards would say things like "My Job", or "My Hair", and I wasn't clear on whether the my referred to the person who played the card, or the judge. I was thinking of the former, but I had the impression most people went with the latter. One judge, when the word was "Unforgettable" chose "My Body", and made it clear he was thinking of himself. I'm not complaining, since it worked for me once. For "Mystical", I sent "My Love Life", to a judge whose significant other is also one of my coworkers, and was sitting right next to him. I had the impression he also chose it with their love life in mind.
Whatever works, I suppose.
* Although poking around online, the answer appears to be the "liger", the existence of which I was not aware of. Fine, Ignorance is no excuse, but that goes for the people who made the game, too.
** It's not as if he needed to screw me over to win. His knowledge base did - and still does - dwarf mine. And it was the card that was wrong, he showed it to me so I could see they said "lion".
*** We didn't have any sort of time limit on how long you had to answer questions, so teams would dicker over a question for five minutes or more at times. Which explains why the game took close to 4 hours.
**** One Green Apple card read "Quiet". The judge chose "Outlet Malls", because they weren't quiet.