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Family Game Night a Great Way to Unplug

My husband made the greatest purchase of our lives last weekend when he found this Pokemon Monopoly game at a garage sale for a dollar.

Did you catch that? It's a Monopoly game about POKEMON!! And my kids are only ABSOLUTELY OBSESSED with Pokemon!

So for the past two nights, we have shut down the computers, walked away from the iPods and cell phones, and turned off the video games in order to play this game. We look just like those smiling families on the Hasbro Family Game Night commercials.

Artist's rendering our our Family Game Night experience

Pokemon Monopoly is a lot like the classic Monopoly game, except the little metal tokens are Pokemon characters (I'm Charmander).

You play with Pokedollars instead of money, you catch Pokemon instead of buying properties, and you purchase Pokemon Centers instead of houses. You can still go to jail, though, and you still have Free Parking (whatever the heck that is).

We have been having so much fun that I'm kicking myself for not doing it sooner. Like many families, we get caught up in our electronic worlds. Too many times, I've looked up from my laptop to see every member of my family glued to a screen somewhere. It's like we're all in the same room, but we live in different worlds. It disturbs me.

I'm the first to admit that it is extremely difficult for me to walk away from my computer. Between blogging (which I love), working (which I hate), and aimless surfing (which leeches my time like a parasite), I am constantly being pulled toward my laptop.

Family Game Night was a conscious decision to "unplug" for the sake of my kids. I am thinking of implementing a regular game night each week in which all electronics are turned off, and the family is turned on...to some good old-fashioned fun.

A look through my hall closet revealed that we actually have a collection of different Monopoly Games from over the years: Star Wars Monopoly, The Simpsons Monopoly, and Electronic Banking Monopoly. Maybe we'll start a Monopoly Month, followed by Word Games Weeks (with Scrabble and Boggle), and maybe a fun action game such as Jenga.

The possibilities are endless, and it doesn't really matter what you play. The key is to make an effort to unplug from the gadgets and plug in to the family. Feel free to share your experiences. Visit my full blog at http://www.moniscient.net .

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