Day 170: Board Games as Tools for Brainwashing

Who played board games over the holiday? I did. I’m sure a lot of people did, were you one of them? It’s quite a tradition when your family gets together for the holiday, looking for something fun and entertaining to pass the time. And we always look toward what we already know. Let’s see, what do I know of that would be fun to do? And we peruse our memory for options. And board games popped up, as we likely spent some hours in our childhood playing a variety of the board games that were available.

It was while playing one of these games, that I remembered how I used to experience myself during what was like a ‘family ritual’ sort of thing, as it was ‘more’ than just simply playing a game, as it’s like you bring all the memories of previous games with you, and how you experienced yourself then, and what happened, did you win, did you lose, did it heated, was there competition and insults thrown ‘in jest’, etc. I would have all kinds of experiences within myself in relation to what would happen in the game. Was I ‘winning’? Was I losing? Did another person just make a move against me to put themselves in a better position? Was it just going bad one turn after another and now it’s like there is no hope for me to win?

And I’d experience all kinds of emotions towards these experiences. I’d feel good if I was winning, bad if I was losing, angry and hurt at another who has ‘taken advantage’ of me in order to help themselves, depressed and apathetic if I was doing bad one turn after another. Confused as to why we as family members, who are ‘supposed to be on the same side’, because it’s how families are presented by/within society, as like, the one’s who’ve got your back, the one’s who you can count on, you can trust, will be there for you through thick and thin, and on and on with the clichés about family, and yet, here they are not supporting me, by trying to beat me, and I found this very conflicting. But everyone acts as is it normal, because it was what they learned as children, and now I was learning it, and then I would pass it on to the next generation.

Every time we’d go to play a game, all those previous/past experiences/memories would come up, it’s like they’re ‘all here with you’, and activates a specific ‘board game’ character that activates when the moment someone suggests the game and speaks its name out loud is like the trigger, and the memories would come flooding up as the game is brought out and we’re setting it up and passing out the pieces. And I can see there are even be character variations according to what particular game is being played, all depending on past experiences/memories, all originating from the earliest experiences/times I played the game. Like the first game is where the main character gets formed which will then come up for each following game, and then get added onto/shaped further as one has more and more experiences with that game.

I remember this actually quite clearly, with the game Monopoly for example, as that was one of the first games that I played with family on a family vacation/holiday situation. What this shows is that we were not born knowing how to play a board game. And we were not born with a specific relationship toward playing board games. This is developed through experience. For example, I didn’t ‘know’ what was fun about board games until it was shown and told to me. I was told the point of playing is to win, and I asked why? ‘Because it’s fun to win’. Oh, ok.. As children we are like sponges, trusting the adults around us and just absorbing what is told to us, and taking it for granted that it must be correct, and not questioning anything that doesn’t seem to make sense out of fear, due to previous experiences of questioning things that did not go well, because adults have a tendency to react in all sorts of ways when being asked questions about things that don’t make sense, because in that moment, they’re faced with the truth of themselves, and that they are living something that does not make sense that they were too scared to question as well.

So I ‘learned’ that it’s fun to ‘win’. And I also learned that according to the design of most board games, winning means everyone else ‘losing’. Everyone else has to ‘suffer’ so to speak, for only one being to ‘win’ and have the positive experience. And this is just like how it is in the current system, where 99% of the population does the majority of all the work, so that a 1% can live in luxury. Thus you have most people in the negative/having a negative experience, and only a very, very tiny few in the most positive experience. Just like ‘in the negative’ as a reference to debt, because in the current system money is what gives you a positive life, and where most are in the negative as debt, while only a very few are ‘in the positive’, as having enough money to be financially secure and can buy a life of luxury.

So at a time when I was young and not yet exposed to our economic system, as my world was as yet mostly comprised of my family and going to school, and I was not yet a ‘part of the system’ as going out there and ‘fending for myself’ within finding a job placement within the system, board games served as an introduction to how our current system works. So that when I do get ‘out there’ into the system, I’ve already accepted the basic principles it’s founded on, as I’m already familiar with the concepts, which I learned from playing board games, that are based on the same model, of being in competition with each other, and where there can only be a few ‘winners’ while most will have to be ‘losers’, and that that’s the way it is, and that it’s ‘fun’.

Thus, board games are a great way of introducing concepts to children, who are at a stage where they are still yet learning about the world and reality, and how it functions, so once they get into the system, it’s like they are already used to it, and have already accepted it as ‘normal’ and ‘the way it is’.

Within the next post, we’ll continue to open up this point of board games as tools for brainwashing ourselves as children to accept the current system, and eventually take a look at how playing board games can actually be reversed into tools for expanding one’s awareness of oneself, and one’s reality.

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