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Cheating at Candyland

My daughter has developed an annoying obsession with the introductory boardgame Candyland. For those not lucky enough to have played this challenging game, it works like this: Draw a card. It will have either one or two coloured squares on it. If one square, move your piece to the next square of that colour, if two, move to the second square of that colour. There are also a handful of 'special' cards that move you to the corresponding space on the board. First one to the candy castle wins.

There is absolutely no skill required. The cards tell you what to do, and no choices are necessary. If all goes well, no one gets sent back, and no screaming sessions erupt, the game can be over in five minutes. If not, well... the game will probably never be concluded.

I've found myself having to cheat at this game a fair bit lately. One child winning the game too many times in a row is not good. Myself winning too many games is not good. Any child nearing the finish line and getting one of the 'special' cards and having to move back to the beginning is really not good. So I must intervene. Luckily the cards have been so bent and mangled I can recognize each special card from the back. Through sleight-of-hand (three-year-olds are very easy to misdirect) I can bury a bad card or promote a good one. My guilty concience is plaguing me; I have to confess: the game is fixed.

People who think this is wrong obviously have no children. It's not that they never lose -- they do. And they've come a long way in learning how to deal with it. But I've found too much reality does not improve family harmony.

If Talia has worn out the patience of others she will even play Candyland by herself. Here's a video of that, hosted on Youtube. Unfortunately, the audio and video are quite out of sync. If I'm going to put up more videos here, I'll have to figure a way to fix that.

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» Okay, what's with the Candyland obsession? from Autonomous Source
Over the past couple of months, I've had hundreds and hundreds of hits to this blog coming from Google looking for... Candyland pictures. You know, I wrote piles and piles of great stuff a few years ago when I was... [Read More]

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