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Family Games Newsletter - July 2009
August 07, 2009

Welcome to the August 2009 issue of our Family Games Treasurehouse newsletter. We trust your family will be blessed as you spend time together, and we hope you enjoy our reviews of various family games.

In this issue, we will look at a few family word games which are great for a quiet games night or reunion, along with a card game for adults or older children. We've also included an excerpt from an article on our website. Simply click on the links to go to the website if you want more information. Let's get into it!

A Family Games Night

Family games nights are excellent for building healthy family relationships. There are many types of games which are great for this activity, but word games take some beating. They require little or no equipment and preparation, and provide a helpful way of reinforcing language and social skills. Besides that, they are just plain fun!

Let's start with a review of a Sentences, an interesting game for adults and children who can spell and recognise the starting sound/letter of words. One player chooses a word with five letters or more. Each player then has a few minutes to make up a sentence based on the letters of the word. The rules are easy, but making up a sentence is not! There are no winners or losers in this game, just lots of fun listening to some crazy sentences. For example, the word "MICROWAVE" could become the sentence "Magicians In China Ride On Wobbly And Violent Emus".

Anti-Um is another simple word game, this time for adults and children of all ages. The aim is to speak on a given topic for one minute without any excessive pauses or saying "Um", "Arr" or other words which are used as a pause while thinking. Each player takes turns, with a new topic for each player (to suit their age and ability). Believe me, it's not as easy as it sounds but it does become easier with practise! How well do you think YOU would go talking about "clouds" for one minute if you only had thirty seconds to prepare?

Check out Family Word Games for more quiet (and some noisier) word games to play.

Up the Creek Without a Paddle
A card game for the more advanced card players in your family

If you are looking for a card game for members of your family who are wanting more of a challenge than Snap or Rummy why not try Up the Creek Without a Paddle? It uses one standard deck of cards and suits 3 to 8 players.

The game was invented about thirty years ago when some friends grew tired of playing Euchre and Five Hundred. They decided to develop a new game which was challenging yet relatively simple to play. There are some terms such as "tricks", "trumps" and "bowers" that you will need to be familiar with to play the game but our Card Game Glossary will help if you are confused about any card game terms. Each player starts with a given number of cards (which changes each round) and they must estimate how many tricks they will win for that hand. You gain points if you are successful in winning your estimate exactly and lose points if you don't. A full game will take at least half an hour as you work through the ten rounds of a standard game. It is quite possible for a player to win on the last round, although consistent play and the ability to make good estimates will help a lot.

Excerpt from the article "Are Online Games Family Friendly?"

Many websites promote "family friendly" games that can be played over the internet or downloaded. These computer-based games may also be marketed as "family safe" or simply as "family games". I see these sites and ask myself, "Is this true?"

The term "family safe" can be defined as supporting the moral values of the majority of parents and families. This means that values and behaviours such as gambling, illegal drugs, excessive violence and so on are not promoted or allowed in these games. However, some online games which are classified as "family safe" will still show violence in some form and may involve shooting or otherwise injuring animals or aliens (as long as it is not people who are hurt!).

The term "family games" is even broader and can include games which anyone in the family may enjoy, whether those games are "family safe" or not. They may include games which promote illegal or immoral behaviour, such as driving a speeding vehicle on public roads or trying to escape the police.

Most online games are played solo, with one player competing against the computer or against a high score or their own best score. Very few computer based family games allow multiple players to interact and play together.

If "family safe games" and "family games" are inadequate descriptions of the type of games we would like our families to experience, what exactly should we look for in "family friendly" games?


(The full article can be found at _online_games_family_friendly.html )

Finally, check out our About This Site page. If you have dreamed about quitting your day job so you can spend more time with your family, consider starting your own online business like us.

Until next time,
Andrew Low
Family Games Treasurehouse

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