Monday, March 31, 2014

The Dumbing Down of America Has Unexpectedly Dire Consequences

I had a present fail, and it was completely not my fault. I blame all those touchy-feely everyone is a winner crappy consumer parents. And I'm totally justified.

While I would love to rant about how Tiny Pants doesn't bother running the bases in T-ball because he knows the league doesn't allow outs, or about how Big Pants felt no satisfaction in getting an award at school because everyone in the class got one, this is about something far more serious. 

(Besides, I do actually like everyone getting a trophy for participation, I can't lie.)

This is about Operation, the all-time most coveted game of my youth. If you, too, are a child of the eighties, you will recall the iconic commercial - Take out his spare ribs for one hundred dollars!  and how hard the freaking spare ribs were to get out of their tiny hole. Buzz! Buzz!  


All the little holes were shaped just like the pieces that went in them, and there was no way to put wishbone where the wrench went.  There were doctor and specialist cards, and fees and money and drama. I always wanted it more than anything but had to be content with playing it at friends' houses. So of course I bought it for Big Pants for his half-birthday. (Yes, we celebrate half-birthdays.)

Huge fail.

The new version has updated pieces, all placed in big round openings.  There are no cards or fees, or specialists.  It was staggeringly easy for everyone except Tiny Pants, and even at six he could remove a piece 80% of the time on the first time.

Newer and Crappier version.

Crap, I tell you. Utter crap!  Hasbro took the best game in the world and made it too easy to be fun.  I want a refund of my nostalgia!


  1. 100% agree!!! Admittedly, Monopoly needed a faster version. But all the games designed to teach strategy and skill now teach "everyone's a winner". Well, everyone isn't a winner! Maybe they'll come out with throwback versions for us old folks.

    1. Monopoly Empire is pretty quick, and kind of cool if you stop thinking of it as Monopoly.

  2. We got a version a few years ago (maybe 4-5 years ago) called "Operation Rescue Kit". The guy is still fat but he's got boxer shorts on. No money exchanges hands, but it's still pretty hard. The game can be set to different sensitivities (buzzes for lighter touches on the higher skill levels). The pieces are pretty hard to get out (the holes are small and shaped like the pieces) and there are different games with various urgent, frenetic noises to get you wound up). It made our six year old cry a little, so this one's not dumbed down! It's still available on Amazon.


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