Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Game of Life

Tonight for our activity, the topic was "Choice and Accountability." I was in charge and decided that it would be great to play the board game, Life. I decided to adapt it to reflect some of the eternal choices we have in this life. So, in addition to the regular rules I added these:

  • When you spin a 5 (before you are married) you get to choose a boyfriend*. The first time you should choose two at random and then select one to keep. Every time you roll a 5 (before you are married) you can select a new boyfriend (at random) or keep the one you have.
  • If you chose to wait (or plan to) until you were 16 to date, receive a Sweet 16 card.
  • Whenever you receive money you can choose whether to pay tithes and offerings. You will receive blessings cards each time you pay tithes and offerings.
  • You can choose to serve a mission any time it is your turn to play prior to getting married. To serve a mission (before marriage) you must pay $4,000 and skip two turns.
  • You can choose to serve a mission with your spouse after retirement. To serve a mission with your spouse, you must pay $15,000.
  • You get an “obedience” card every time you spin a 3 or 7. (Obedience cards included: Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, Testimony, Scripture Reading, etc.)
  • When you land on the “Get Married” space you will marry your current boyfriend. If you are both worthy to attend the temple, you will be sealed and receive a “Temple Sealing” card. If you don’t want to marry your current boyfriend you can stay on the “Get Married” space until you spin a 5 (only one spin per turn). Once you spin a 5 you will be given a temple-worthy boyfriend. If you are not worthy to attend the temple (you must have a testimony, live the Word of Wisdom, obey the Law of Chastity, and pay your tithing) you can stay on the “Get Married” space until you become “worthy.” You can become worthy by spinning 3 and 7 to receive the necessary “obedience” cards.
  • When you have a child you can choose to be a stay-home mom. You must turn in your career and income card but you will still draw money from your husband’s income.
  • You get an opportunity to serve in a calling when you spin a 9. You can choose to accept it or not. If you accept it, you must trade in one “Life” tile.
It worked out pretty well. If I do this again, I will cover up the board's "Get Married" space and place marriage and children further down the road of life so that they had time to go through several boyfriends and to accumulate the necessary obedience cards. We also needed smaller "bills" than the game has so that the girls could pay their 10% tithing. As it turned out we just kept a running tally of their money. That worked out ok. We definitely needed all the adults to keep the game going with all the extra cards and rules.

My husband thought that the young women would all make the "obvious right" choices (college, temple marriage, etc.) but they didn't. We had some good examples of the difficulties that occur when poor choices are made. It was especially clear when girls chose immediate rewards instead of long-term ones. At the end of the game (we ran out of time so we had to declare it the Second Coming) we took all their money, the praise of mankind (like the Pulitzer etc.) and only left them with eternal rewards. If they chose not to get married in the temple, we took their husband and children (harsh, I know). We kept the mood fun and didn't lecture. We didn't need to, the lessons were obvious.

It was just a fun way to think about and demonstrate that our choices have consequences.

*I made up about 25 boyfriend cards. Each card had a name and a short bio. There were some RMs that were lazy jerks and some non-LDS guys who were really good men. These were in addition to plenty of temple-worthy, good guys to go around. Each boyfriend card also had a job/income. Once they got married they got to draw the income of their husband as well. That way they could choose to continue their career or give up their career to be a stay-at-home mom.

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