Monday, January 31, 2011

Board Game Flashback: Operation



Subconsciously, kids are probably attracted to playing Operation because you get to turn the tables on a clown. Take back the fright. He's much smaller, naked, stuck on his back, and helpless to your maniacal probing with terrifying instruments. He doesn't look happy about this. He's sorry he scared you in so many movies and cartoons.

My immediate memory of this game is how impossible it is to play. It's like trying to remove a pimento from an olive using salad tongs. But you can't touch the olive. An off-putting buzzing sound alerts you to your ineptitude. The game bypasses an opportunity to teach anatomical accuracy and instead employs idioms like a butterfly representing butterflies in the stomach, a horse representing a charlie horse in the leg or a pail representing water on the knee. But some of the removable objects go beyond pun territory into a land called JUST THINK OF SOMETHING - WE HAVE A DEADLINE. A pencil in the wrist to indicate a writer's cramp (ouch), a bread basket located in the gut (huh?), an area with no name, just a song lyric - "the ankle bone's connected to the knee bone". What bone? It's a rubber band. Are there any bones in this body? Oh yeah a funny bone, which is the hilarious shape of a typical bone.

The picture above suggests there is money involved in this game, but kids are interested in the extraction not subtraction. Most of my friends and I just took turns failing at surgical procedures. A great pre-cursor to med school.

As with every board game I lost, this is how I usually reacted 15 minutes in.

1 comment:

Kelley Arndt said...

the Charlie horse is IMPOSSIBLE to get out, PERIOD!