My infatuation with this game started several years ago, when I was nought but a nerdling, convinced that the world only extended to the expansions of WarCraft 2 and Diablo 2. Every year, Brad’s family would rent out a couple of camp sites in a state park and a whole bunch of us would retreat into the woods for a weekend full of bacon, doughnuts, awkward moments, and thanking God we weren’t actually camping.
See, the camping we engaged in was camping in Easy mode. There were tents, there were sleeping bags and, from time to time, there were camp fires. But there were also showers with hot water, electrical outlets, trash pick-up by park rangers, and a playground on a hill just across from the sites. The usual things that go down in camping trips didn’t go down here, since we were all civilized people and appreciated the outdoors just enough to be slightly uncomfortable for a couple nights a year.
During the days, we’d all do whatever we could think to keep us from missing things like TV and the Internet. For the kids, we’d mess with the dogs or heave rocks into the lake and cheer like Neanderthals. The adults… I don’t know what they did. Something boring. Like reading or some shit.
But at night, we’d all come together for one, massive Hate Fest. There’s nothing like these things, and, chances are, you’ve experienced them yourselves. What corn-fed American family hasn’t played Monopoly, thinking it would be a great way to rip the kids away from the TV for a few hours and actually talk to their parents, only to find, after Rick Jr. keeps buying up all the fucking orange properties and not fucking trading them even though someone’s offering the goddamn green properties and Susie, for whatever reason, doesn’t grasp that it’s in her best interests to just buy her fucking way out of jail instead of rolling, and Dad, that shit head, keeps double-dipping in the bank like some investment banker, and Mom guilts you into not buying Park Place.
[clears throat] Sorry. Monopoly, as you’ve probably grasped by the above, is the perfect entry into American Hate. A baptism of resentment that won’t fully blossom until higher-level board games like Balderdash are played. But there’s one game that rules them all, and in the darkness binds them: Risk.