The SGM Game
Via sg collector nonpareil DA: before The Homecoming board game, there was the SGM Game, ca. 1977.
Fun, as Dad Speer might have said, for the whole fam damily.
I think some of you thought I was joking about being kinda smitten by the Gaither boardgame (and frankly sorry I missed bidding on it), but I’m genuinely fascinated by this stuff (not for nothing was mine the winning bid on that Singing in Tongues album). Partly it’s the kitsch factor, sure. But kitsch is just another way of describing something that you’re mildly embarassed for liking, but all the same have fond associations with for reasons that have less to do with the object and more to do with a part of your life from which the kitsch dates, or an era predating you that nevertheless you’re drawn to.
In effect, kitsch tends to send you down the wormhole of memory … for instance … you’ll notice the game has a spinner … no dice … since dice are instruments of SAY-tin and the DEV-uhl. I learned this at an early age. My paternal grandmother (best grandma ever) used to take us grandchildren yardsaling in the summer and we’d always score an odd board game or two. And invariably, on the way home, whichever of the older kids got to ride shotgun would be instructed to retrieve the dice from the board game, whilst Grandma cranked down the window of whichever of the three VW Beetles my grandfather happened to have kept in running order that day (with parts from the other two). Dice retrieved, window down, Grandma would take the offending cubes, and send them flying into the brush on the side of the road. You could have stocked a small casino with the pairs of dice strewn along the side of Highway 49 between Ironton and Sabula.
When we got back to the grandparents’ house, Grandma would replace the dice by creating a spinner out of construction paper, one of those two-pronged brass push-pins, and a cardboard pointer. Thus were our games sanctified … and their playing time lengthened by at least an hour. The spinner inevitably wobbled on its push-pin spindle. And on top of that, it got bound up the coarse fiber of the construction paper, causing it to lurch in ways that always seemed to redound unfavorably to whoever was doing the spinning. And sometimes, it simply went nowhere at all (only my oldest cousin ever figured out how to master the art of the finger-flick, to which this deeply sensitive and unpredictable turn-selector responded most effectively, as opposed to the more obvious, but overpowering and far less-effective single-fingered push the rest of us used - as if we were hoisting into motion a mini-Wheel of Fortune at the behest of Pat Sajack). And then there was the mathematical limitations: having (for reasons that none of us ever thought to inquire after) been numbered only up to 6 or 7, our Godly games never generated anything approaching 12, even at peak performance.
There are games of chance, and then there are games of chance.Email this Post