As a gag gift, I bought a friend the kid's game "Hi-Ho-Cherry-O." It proved fun, as we spent most of our time laughing at the game (and the ridiculous notion that several 20-somethings were playing an "ages 3 and up" game on a Thursday night). Milton Bradley modified some of the rules to allow for a "cooperation" game. In that version, nobody "loses"; everyone playing teams up to fill your cherry basket before the puzzle gets completed.
Later, so another friend could take a break from studying, we decided to play "Sardines." If you don't know how to play that game (as I did not before last night), one person hides and everyone must find that person. Once you find the hidden person, you must hide with that person until everyone "sardines" together. We had a blast, but the challenge was being the first one to find the hidden person.
While we had fun laughing around a friendly game of "Hi-Ho-Cherrio" (as silly as it sounds), we had just as much fun stumbling through the dark. And I wonder about the effects of removing competitiveness from games. This discussion has come up countless times before (even Milton Bradley leaves No Child Left Behind), but how does a little competition harm a child's development? Isn't that the point of playing games? Since I was a kid, I have been told that "it doesn't matter if you win or lose, it matters that you have fun." I'm not going to lie; I have fun competing. And the excitement behind competition rests in the fact that you may win. If you lose, you lose, and life moves on. But what's wrong with having fun while you compete?