Warning…this is gonna be TLDR.
So I’m playing with my 6 year old son Minion Monopoly. Now normally, the “M” game is forbidden in this house…because I don’t classify Monopoly as a decent game…as compared to say classics like Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, Settlers of Catan, King of Tokyo, etc. SO MANY great games I can’t list them all and those are just the entry-level starters…the gateway games, as it were, AWAY from such “games” like the dreaded Monopoly. My memories of said game are NOT fond.
BUT…our son saw our collectors version of Simpsons Monopoly on the shelf and took interest. I think maybe years ago we played that once. I also have a collectors TMNT version never-played. He wanted to play. But Monopoly only collects dust on the shelf here, for said reason above. I mean why choose Monopoly when you can play anything else of real merit? I digress. Lately I have been wanting to spend more time playing games with the family since we’ve gotten out of touch with physical board games lately…really my fault because I’m so Evolve-focused now. Maybe out of desiring something more brainless or maybe wanting to take more time with games I know my son can handle, I thought, why not? He reminded me we still do have Monopoly, but like anything adult-oriented, I figured he should start off with the Junior edition first.
So I bought this. There are Minions involved in this version, and instead of rolling dice you spin a minion on a top, so I relent. That’s pretty unique and fun. It is also a “Junior” version so it takes like 30 minutes to play and should be a good test on if he can handle playing the adult version. Bill denominations are in $1 increments. Even I can do that math! There are no taxes or mortgages or things like that. If you buy a property you instantly get a cupcake on it. If you own two of the same color you get an ice cream sundae. Easy-peazy. The game board looks like this:
So anyway now on to the point of this. I land an obnoxious number of times on Go To JAIL, either by landing on that space or getting a chance card that sends me there. My token is the ninja minion so I chalk it up as not being a very good ninja, I guess. I also often land on blah spaces like Chance or Free Parking, or properties (usually the meager starter ones) I may already own since I barely make it around the board due to going to jail so much…but finally I start to land on my son’s spaces, who owns a lot of the medium and wealthier properties. My banana dollar pool is getting pretty low and whoever has the most money at the end of the game will win. It’s easy to lose if you land on a property where you need to pay rent. Nevertheless I keep paying my son and he’s thrilled.
But then he lands on the space right after GO, after collecting his $2. I own the first property after GO so he owes me a whole 1 banana buck. Oh no. At this point he pitches a fit. He thinks he will lose if he has to keep paying me rental fees. I ask him to count his properties versus mine…he owns double what I do and worth waaay more money. I tell him about all the turns I lost going to jail, and how I often had to pay him large sums of dollars and yet I still have fun playing even when I “lose.”
My son has issues with losing which we are working on. He also has issues with winning. He is both a sore winner and a sore loser because when he is winning he rubs it in your face, and when he is losing he thinks nobody cares how unfair the world is being to him and look how much of a loser he is and nobody cares. He starts to attempt to cheat on the top spinning to get it to land on set numbers…he tries to read the chance cards in advance. He puts up a fit when he doesn’t land where he wants. IF he has to pay rent he throws the money at you.
I tell him it’s about playing to have fun, not about winning or losing…and that you need to have fun even if you lose. But he says to me…
“There’s no reason to play it unless I win. It’s a waste of time to play if I’m not gonna win. I only want to play if I will win.”
At this point I get up from the table and refuse to play with him further…it smacked me so hard what he said it took me back to thinking about some Evolve players. And now things start clicking in my brain…those players are just like son, and never learned to have fun even if they lose. And if my son can’t be changed, what hope does Evolve have with players like that? And what can I do as a parent to charge my son before nobody wants to play with him when he is in that mindset…because I sure don’t. He is the happiest child while he’s winning but if even one thing takes a turn sour he will go on and on about it and ask you to look at him and see how unfair it is, and why don’t we CARE, as if we should allow him to cheat the rolls, and allow him mulligans to re-roll, or pick a chance card that he likes.
Needless to say after I leave the table he doesn’t put up too much of a fight and instead continues to play my piece and his by himself until he gets bored and goes to do something else. But I am left feeling depressed. So I confront my husband, who says this is largely my own fault (and it may well be), because while he was a toddler I pretty much let him win all the time in games like Candyland because I wanted to boost his confidence. I even removed the picture cards in that horrible game (although that was more for us and not him because I hate that game with a heated passion and didn’t want to be sent repeatedly back to the beginning…parents will know what I mean).
Now-a-days my husband and I play games normally with him…we don’t fudge things for our son, and now he’s throwing fits when loses. He wants to play games with us but only if he is going to win, apparently. Yesterday is when he blurted all that out when I asked him why he gets so upset when we play games together. The last time we played Mario Party he even got angry like this. Sometimes he will even run away crying thinking that the world doesn’t care about him when he loses.
The game was like this…a large Mario fish sat in the center and the players were sitting in the 4 corners with turtle shell guns. You had 3 shots to fire your shells at the fish. Any time somebody hit the fish with their shell the fish would move one person clockwise. It’s strategic to save your shells as much as you can so that when the fish faces you you can hit it so that it will go on to the next person. After the timer runs out like a game of hot potato, the fish will leap up and squish the player it currently faces. Long story short he happened to be the player next to me so when the fish faced me I hit it, and then the fish turned on my son, who didn’t have any shells left, and it squished him.
“Mommy you killed me on purpose!”
“That’s the point of the game, but I didn’t have a choice who I shot at. I didn’t mean to hit you on purpose but you have to save some shells.”
“But the timer ran out! Look at my hearts now, I have less than everybody! Now I’m gonna lose! Don’t you even care?! No, you don’t…you don’t care that I die! I’m a loser!”
“Losing a game doesn’t make you a loser…you just lost this one minigame…but there’s a lot more yet. Everyone has been getting and losing hearts this whole time and everyone is having fun. You know nobody finds out who wins or loses until the very end anyway.”
“But you don’t care that you killed me on purpose! When we play you shouldn’t shoot at me!”
“You have to play the game the way it is meant to be played. You have to shoot the fish to get it to turn too, and then it faces someone else.”
“Yeah, so I die and I lose! That’s great!”
He got angry with me, riled on about how unfair it was at what I did to him, and again I just put the Wii controller down and stopped playing. As much as i tried to reason with him he just repeats the same stuff.
My husband says we need to keep playing with him and try to teach him to be a better winner and loser, but I just can’t handle his attitude anymore. He is absolutely miserable to play with when he takes a hit. He calls himself a loser and thinks nobody cares about him when he dies in the games. I try to be patient and tell him that nobody wants to play with people who only play to win, but want to play with players who want to have fun winning or losing. But again, same mantra…“There’s no point to play unless I win.”
At this point I don’t want to play any more games with him, and I told him this. I explained why, but he just can’t understand in his 6 year old brain why I would not want to play and lose to him all the time. Or deal with his poor attitude. I tell him about Evolve…and how there are players who only play to win even by cheating…and those people nobody wants to play with, and it ruins the game for everybody. But again the mantra, like talking to a brick wall.
“But Mommy you win all the time.”
“Sometimes my hunter team doesn’t win. And I almost never win as monster, but I still play monster…and I have fun.”
“But you suck as monster.”
“I still have fun playing as monster.”
“I’d just play to win.”
I find that so depressing I don’t even know how to handle it. The only time I ragequit in games is when I play with my son…and it’s not really rage-quitting…more like utter-disappointment-quitting. Is this really the future of gamers? Did I cause this problem with my son inadvertently? Is this what society is training people…winning is everything and if you don’t win it means you’re a loser? Everyone that loses is a loser which makes anyone you defeat a loser? Is that why we see so much “Evolve is Dying” threads? Half the complaints are due to quitters…people who quit because they are losing. People who admit to losing are told to “get gud” or called “scrubs.” The games all get ruined for everybody involved.
Dunno where I’m going with this. It’s just a bummer. I try to play a real game with my son, and meet the same attitude I often run into on-line. Makes you not want to play anything at all.