Dear reader, I have a question for you. What is life?Well, there’s a very easy answer to that very simple question. It’s a board game. It’s a board game you’ve probably heard of as well. Life is up there with Monopoly, RISK, and Settlers of Catan as one of the most famous and successful board games of all time.
If you’ve never played Life, you start the game by choosing to either go to college and start the game with less money but a better chance of earning more, or choose a career straight away but with a chance of earning less. From there on you go from payday to payday, changing careers and gaining spouses, houses, and babies. The person who retires with the most money wins! (The game does kind of gloss over what happens after retirement, but the Milton Bradley Company perhaps wisely decided that mortality is not what most casual board game players want to contemplate on a rainy day.)
Even though the game simplifies life down to a basic concept for the sake of gameplay, there are aspects of the Game of Life that mirror many players’ actual life paths, and even though it’s just a game, you can learn a lot by thinking about choices like Career or College before you reach that space on the board. Life the game is a lot like regular life: a lot of it is based on chance and the luck of the spinner, but strategy and planning ahead certainly doesn’t hurt.
For example, the very first decision you make when you play the Game of Life board game is to choose the College path or Career path. That decision may be even more relevant today than when the game came out in 1960. While it is still true that, on average, people who go to post-secondary schools earn more than people who don’t (just like in the game), that distinction is not as wide as it used to be. The choice is really an equal one at this point and, in life real or imaginary, either path can lead you to victory.
It’s unfortunate that the game doesn’t show you all the options you have in real life: for example, going straight into a manufacturing career after high school is a viable option. There’s also the real life zone in between college and career: through some programs you can get on-the-job manufacturing training and start your career that way.
Play the Game of Life for Real
For a list of some of the most in-demand jobs in eastern Ontario, see below.