The Summer – Fun and Games

With summer nearly upon us, attention turns to the great summer sporting festivals. Every four years there is the summer Olympics, which is what I want to focus on for now. My greatest, and perhaps saddest, recollection of the summer Olympics concerns a certain Ben Johnson, the man who trailblazed his way to 100m gold on the track, and 24 hours later was accused of, and subsequently found guilty of, taking steroids to enhance his performance.

That he took steroids and was found guilty sent a seismic shock through the games. Here was a high profile athlete in the highest profile event of the games caught cheating. He really opened the flood gates of what athletes were really getting up to behind the public’s back. Nowadays, doping scandals are a dime a dozen, but back then, it truly was a shocking occurrence.

Since then, Ben Johnson has attempted a comeback and, having been caught cheating again, been banned for life. Carl Lewis, the eventual gold medalist what with Johnson having been stripped of his gold, was caught up in his own steroid scandal some years later. Linford Christie, the eventual silver medalist, was also caught up in a steroid scandal towards the end of his career.

Back then, to insiders, what was most surprising was not the fact that Johnson took steroids. It was the fact that he got caught. By this I mean the steroids he was taking, a Testosterone booster I believe, was so easily detectable as to make Johnson attempt at cheating look very naive, which is a shame as I believe he would have won the race anyway.

Fun Board Games for College Students

Board games may not be the first thing you think about when college students are mentioned, but they would be far from the last thing too. Board games can definitely be educating and not in a dull sort of way either. Learning how to play a fun board game is a bit of an education in itself.


Quelf is a board game often mentioned in connection with college students. You simply roll the die, move your character (for example, Mrs. Pickle Feather or Super Ninja Monkey) which lands you on a colored space. Then take the corresponding colored card and do what it says. If you fail to do what the card says, you pay a penalty in spaces as indicated on the card. When you make it to the last space, you win. Sounds easy enough, right? Maybe not.

Each color corresponds to a category. Green is quizzle; that is, trivia questions. Red, which is called scatterbrainz, requires everyone to give answers about a given subject. Yellow cards tell you to perform intentionally silly stuntz. Purple cards put you “on stage” as in showbiz. Blue are rulez cards that could apply only to you or to everyone playing. (Note: The spellings with the z’s are correct. It’s part of the gimmick in Quelf.)

Essentially this board game is more about having fun while playing than winning. It’s another way for the players to socialize, which is generally something college students enjoy doing.

Wise and Otherwise

Wise and Otherwise is an excellent version of the generic “dictionary game” in which a word is read aloud, and players compose fake definitions for it. The reader writes down the correct definition and subsequently reads each definition in random order. Players vote for the definition they believe to be correct. If someone votes for your fictional definition, you get a point. Those who select the true one also get a point. If no one chooses the correct one, the reader gets a point for each person in the game.

Wise and Otherwise puts a spin on this basic game by using folk sayings from various countries and ethnic groups. The reader speaks the first part of the phrase from the front of a card, and players finish it as they see fit. The reader writes the remainder of the authentic phrase as found on the back of the card. Voting is done as in the basic game. It’s very unlikely that you’ve ever heard any of the phrases provided which makes for some very interesting choices come voting time.


The original Cranium, published in 1998, takes elements of several other party games and combines them into one. Players must participate in each to win. There is drawing, clay sculpting, trivia questions, word games, and performance. Think Pictionary, Claymania, Trivial Pursuit, HuggerMugger, and Charades all rolled into one.

The Cranium family of fun board games for college students is only slightly more serious than Quelf, but that’s not saying a whole lot. With a large enough group of players who want to party, this board game will provide the fun.


Jenga is party game for the nimble-fingered and steady-handed. There’s no game board as such. Instead, there is a stack of wooden blocks in neatly-organized layers. Your task is to pull out an individual block – using one hand only! – and place it on top of the tower without letting any of it tumble. It’s quite easy at first, but eventually friction and gravity will beat you.

Scene It?

Scene It? is a trivia game that requires a DVD player. The original game is all about movies. What makes Scene It? different from other trivia games is that there are video clips that you must watch attentively so you can answer follow-up questions correctly.

There are dozens of editions of this fun board game, so you can pick the one that your group of college students would like best. Subjects range from Marvel comics to Star Trek to Dr. Who to the Simpsons to Friends (the TV series) to FIFA (soccer) and much more.

You may have noticed that these fun board games for college students could almost all be placed in a party games category too. Many college students do like to party in their free time, so the games they like to play might as well be party games too.