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7 Board Games That Probably Weren't Appropriate for Kids

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Board games are a time-honored tradition for kids of all generations to enjoy, and parents depend on them to keep their young ones in check for at least a few minutes at a time. Some competitive games have the added benefit of being educational, too. But then there are those few that, while popular or memorable, don't seem like they should be a part of shaping young minds. Here's a look at seven games that are probably best left on the toy store shelves.

1. Busting balls?

The soft-spoken narrator of "Ball Buster" appears to be in on the joke. It comes from a different era, before double entendres lost their subtlety. This promises to be "a family game" that can be played with kids or without them. The mother winks at the audience upon busting her husband's balls.

2. Snot a Good Idea

What kid doesn't love a good booger, right? Playing this Dutch game is likely to have kids reaching deep inside their noses trying to pull out sticks of snot like they found inside of the disembodied head of "Snotty Snotter." Some children love to search for gold inside their nostrils, and this game capitalizes on the curiosity and anticipation that kids exhibit. But it's not the best lesson for them to learn at an early age if parents wish to ever begin to stamp out the nosepicking.

3. Playing with Poo

Giving your dog a tasty treat sounds like something valuable and humane. But in "Doggie Doo," the goal is not to satisfy the pooch—it's to get the mutt to pass it on the other side. "You win by collecting the doggie's doo," the commercial excitedly professes. One kid in the ad seems to realize what a bad idea this is; he holds his nose and braces for the stench.

4. Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Another flashback to a different time reveals some misguided and questionable tactics to keep your kids entertained. "Pie Face" is exactly what it sounds like: a guillotine-like structure that requires children to stick their faces inside of a cardboard outline and prepare to get splattered with a pie. "Get your face full of goo," the ad boldly says. A decade later, children hoped to avoid being "Swacked!" when they looked to remove small pieces of cheese from the gameboard.

5. Beware of Sharks

The imagery in the commercial for "Shark Attack" should come with a PG-13 rating as rowers try to steer clear of the incoming shark looking to ravage them and their boats. Even cruiselines aren't safe from the gigantic "maniac" on their tails: "It's coming to get you." The last survivor will win the game, but everyone might go home with nightmares and a fear of ever going into the nearest ocean.

6. Pig's Delight

Feed this pig a few burgers, then pump his head and hope he doesn't "go pop." His growing belly can only ward off so much indigestion before he absolutely blows. For those who revel in giving animals food they shouldn't be eating, the game "Pig Goes Pop" is a riot. However, some parents may not want to encourage their kids to participate in this kind of terrorizing behavior. Thankfully, the game doesn't lead to a massive mess full of pig guts and fluids (though that's what the ad seems to imply).

7. Bedbugs Everywhere

It's every parent and New York City resident's worst fear: bedbugs. But the notion of the cost and effort it takes to rid your furniture of these oft-returning pests is lost on tykes. They instead view bedbugs as something they're lightheartedly warned about when being tucked into bed, and in the "BedBugs" game, the little and speedy bugs are a source of amusement. Who can catch the most? The real winner might actually hope to finish last.

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Dungeons & Dragons Gets a Digital Makeover
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Since the 1970s, players have been constructing elaborate campaigns in Dungeons & Dragons using nothing but paper, pencils, rule books, and 20-sided dice. That simple formula has made D&D the quintessential role-playing game, but the game's publisher thinks it can be improved with a few 21st-century updates. As The Verge reports, Wizards of the Coast is launching a digital toolset meant to enhance the gaming experience.

The tool, called D&D Beyond, isn’t meant to be a replacement for face-to-face gameplay. Rather, it’s designed to save players time and energy that could be better spent developing characters or battling orcs. The resource includes a fifth-edition rule book users can search by keyword. At the start of a new campaign, they can build monsters and characters within the program. And players don’t need to worry about forgetting to bring their notes to a quest—D&D Beyond keeps track of information like items and spells in one convenient location.

"D&D Beyond speaks to the way gamers are able to blend digital tools with the fun of storytelling around the table with your friends,” Nathan Stewart, senior director of Dungeons & Dragons, said in a statement when the concept was first announced. "These tools represent a way forward for D&D.”

This isn’t the first attempt to bring D&D into the digital age; videogames inspired by the fictional world have been produced since the 1980s. Unlike those titles, though, D&D Beyond will still highlight the imagination-fueled role-playing aspect of the game when it launches August 15.

[h/t The Verge]

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Pop Culture
Can You Spot Fake News? A New Game Puts Your Knowledge to the Test
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Bryn Dunbar

In 2017, misinformation is easier than ever to access. During the 2016 election, scammers—including hordes of Macedonian teens—raked in serious money by churning out deliberately fake stories about U.S. politics, with a very real impact. In a December 2016 Pew Research Center survey, 64 percent of U.S. adults said that fabricated news was sowing "a great deal of confusion" about current events.

It can be hard to determine what’s real and what’s fake in the viral news world. A new game—expected to launch for iPhone on July 10—will test your skills. Fake News, designed by the creative agency ISL, asks players to distinguish between headlines found on true stories and headlines drawn from fake news sites (as determined by fact-checking sites like Snopes, Politifact, FactCheck.org).

The simple, arcade-style game for iPhone asks you to swipe left on fake headlines and swipe right on true ones. You have 100 seconds to sort through as many headlines as you can, competing for the highest score with other users. For instance, did Arby’s really get its name because “RB” is another way of saying roast beef? (No, RB stands for Raffel Brothers, the founders.) Does Jeff Goldblum really have a food truck named Chef Goldblum’s? (Kind of. It was a film promotion stunt.)

Fake News also exists as a physical arcade game. The creators installed a table-top arcade game in a D.C. bar on July 5, and may install it elsewhere depending on demand.

The game is harder than you’d expect, even if you think of yourself as fairly well-informed. As research has found, viral stories require two things: limited attention spans and a network already overwhelmed with information. In other words, our daily Internet lives. The more information we try to handle at one time, the more likely it is that we’ll fall for fake news.

Scientists found in a recent study that warning people that political groups try to spread misinformation about certain issues (like climate change) can help people sort through dubious claims. While that’s good to remember, it’s not always useful in real-life situations. It certainly won’t help you win this game.

One of the reasons Fake News is so hard, even if you keep abreast of everyday news, is that it doesn’t tell you where the headlines are from. Checking the source is often the easiest way to determine the veracity of a story—although it’s not a foolproof system.

Need help finding those sources? This Chrome plug-in will flag news from troublesome sources in your Facebook feed.

Update: The game is available for iOS here.

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