Posts Tagged ‘family


But will the kids get the Clue?

This story really makes me sad. I’ll tell you why in just a moment…

Hasbro recently announced that, as part of its on-going campaign of rebranding and redesigning classic games in hopes of making them more relevant to today’s kids and families, the company is releasing a new, culture-current version of Clue.

They added a spa, theater, and guest house to Mr. Boddy’s mansion, ditched the lead pipe, revolver, and wrench as weapons, and updated the characters with more relevant lives (like football player Jack Mustard and billionaire video game designer Victor Plum).

In addition to being generally out of style, the game also apparently took too long to play (or required too much critical thinking), so the characters in the new Clue all have special powers to help players find clues easier faster.

So, why does Hasbro’s update leave me glum? No, it’s not because I’m some kind of “Clue purist” (okay, mabye just a little bit), but what really gets me down is how these changes reflect the state of American families and kids.

The basic Clue game takes 45 minutes to play. Even if you add five minutes of setup, that’s still less time than it takes to watch a single prime time TV episode. But Hasbro thinks that 45 minutes is too long for families or kids to focus on an activity?

Are families so busy that they can’t carve out one hour each week to focus on each other across a board game or in some other activity? Have parents forgotten how to make family time happen?

As you can tell, this story touched on passion of mine — creating and enjoying family time between parents and kids (or even just among friends). I’m a book on that topic right now,, and I’m getting ready to launch a blog to accompany it. I’ll post an update here when the blog and book site launch.

But for now, please promise me something: For one night in the next seven days, pick an an hour to spend with your family. Turn off the TV, unplug the video games, put down the magazines, and do something with the ones you love. For our family, that often means playing a board game or taking a walk. For you, it might mean something completely different.

Precisely what you do isn’t the point — taking the time to do something is what matters.

Go forth and conquer. Aroo! Aroooo!