lotrrisk1I picked up the game Risk a few weeks ago, and my 10-year-old son and I have been playing.

The memories it brings back! I played the game a lot with my brother, and sometimes with cousins, when I was young, and it’s remarkable how the idiosyncrasies have stuck with me — buried in my memory but now unfrozen. I’m six years younger than my brother, so he usually crushed me, but I enjoyed even the grinding losses, I guess. I remember how it felt to finally piece together a region and then watch him nullify the gain by smashing Kamchatka! I remember wavering about an attack, and wondering aloud if I should chance it; he would tell me impatiently:

“That’s why it’s called Risk!”

And now I remember (and experience again) the despair of getting more and more in the hole — you find yourself looking forward to the next turn, for a  chance to reinforce with a few more armies (they are called “batttalions” in this version, the Lord of the Rings set) but then you realize that your opponent is stacking up even more battalions, turn after turn, and even with the smartest moves you’ll be unlikely to ever catch up . . . I think it may be a good lesson for a 10-year-old: you can’t depend on good luck overturning the consequences of a series of bad decisions.

And I’m also struck that my son is very good at the game. Maybe he got his uncle’s genes for it.


2 responses to “Risk!

    • Yessir! It’s always been the males who have gravitated toward it, in our family . . . although we grew up next to two female cousins, and my brother would drag one of them in occasionally.

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