What do you take away from the Game of Life?

by Viv Cole on April 17, 2019

Easter holidays. A great time when we break out the board games in the Cole household. A particular favourite is The Game of Life (published by Hasbro). As a learning designer who often creates mini games for business purposes, I’m always interested in the subtext of a game – the behaviours and tactics that get rewarded with points and hence the model of how the world works that the game is implicitly teaching.

10 ways that the world works?

In The Game of Life, here are ten of the lessons implied:

1. The ultimate purpose of life is to accumulate money.
2. You will inevitably get married.
3. Divorce does not exist.
4. Only two genders exist.
5. You can choose what gender your children are.
6. The more children you have the better.
7. Friends’ weddings are either expensive or ruinously expensive.
8. Property generally goes up in value but can go down.
9. Graduate jobs pay better than non-graduate jobs.
10. Being a lawyer or a doctor is the best job.

Some make for far less comfortable reading than others…

What is this telling us?

As a parent, be mindful of the messages that your children are being exposed to. And when creating a game, be mindful of the messages may be sending unintentionally.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ashwini April 24, 2019 at 5:51 am

I could not agree with you more. My kids seem to love playing this game but they also create their own twists in it. They refuse to get “married”, they make each other “marry” someone of the same gender, randomly throw “spouses” and “kids” out of “cars”…
I guess someone needs to tell the makers of the game that they need to make some changes!


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