Saturday, July 14, 2012

Worth the Risk

One of my favorite board games growing up was Risk. Parker Brothers' game of global conquest was one of my first strategy games (after chess, of course), requiring me to think out how each move I made.

I recently found the new version of Risk at a second-hand store and bought it for a dollar. The game appeared to be in good shape, though some of the pieces I did not recognize. As what has happened with many board games, Risk was updated, now including capital cities and a slew of new rules. That's fine: I'm looking forward to trying this new version. But the version I wanted to play was the classic Risk -- the game I played in my youth. The game I got for Christmas in 1980 from my great grandparents (really from my mom, who would be given money from my great grandparents to buy us one present each year). That version included all the familiar pieces and rules and would be easier to teach my own sons (who, I'm not expecting deep strategy from, but just a fun experience rolling dice and taking over countries). I still own this version of the game, though I hadn't played it in maybe 20 years.

My version of Risk, just not my Risk game.
At least I thought I still had the game. I can't find it anywhere in my house.

I know I would have never thrown it out. I know I wouldn't have given it away. I remember the last time I played -- I was living in Milwaukee, and Rey, Reed and I drank some beers and waged war (Rey won). So the game made it out of Illinois, and once something from my old house made to to Wisconsin, it never went back to Chicago. I still own all my old Dungeons and Dragons stuff, all my old video game magazines, all my old cassettes, and many, many old books (including a trove of Hardy Boys mysteries). I just can't find Risk.

The game isn't in the game closet. A couple old crates in the garage hold games from my Grandma Elsie's basement (basically, my father and his siblings' games from the 1960s), as well as my games from the 1990s we don't play anymore (such as the Cheers trivia game), but no Risk. It's not in our storage closet that holds all the D&D stuff and cassettes and just about every old think Lori and I own. I can't find it anyplace.

I'm starting to wonder if Risk never left Milwaukee. Or Madison. Or our apartment in Cottonwood Heights. We've lived in this house for nine years, and my hope is that it's somewhere behind nine years of stuff. I know we once owned an Othello game, but that mysteriously disappeared as well at some point. At least I realized that sooner and am not bummed about it; Risk's disappearance is more bothersome. Sure, I can buy the game again, either on eBay or if I get lucky at a thrift store (and I've found so many classic games lately that maybe my luck will continue). But the fact it's just vanished is irking me. I know of a few places I haven't looked yet, but these are long shots. Finding Risk in my house is my new goal of conquest.

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