I have always loved to play games. It has been a huge part of my events for as long as I have held them. Games allow for all sorts of expression. They allow shy guests to open up, everyone to get to know one another and in the case of large groups of rambunctious boys, it allows them to burn off (some) excess energy.
In my personal life, I have often found myself attracted to, some might say obsessed with, some basic video games. But don’t get me wrong, I am in no way a “Gamer”. I am hugely impressed by the lifelike games I see my young clients playing. Correct me if I am wrong, but many of them seem like movies. From what I understand some of these games cost more to create then a feature film. I'm blown away for sure - but I can’t fathom playing them. I had to watch some YouTube Gamers play Minecraft while creating a party. But that is about the extent of my knowledge.
I guess I am a bit more old fashioned when it comes to games.
That is why I think I love solitaire.org. Named, of course, after the granddaddy of all games - Solitaire. This site is an incredible collection of online games. You can play the game within a web page, which is mostly what I did, or you can play as a standalone web app. Both are free to play - and free of ads.
Honestly, this is more like a library, or history lesson, on games - both digital and actual. I always knew that the classic solitaire that I prefer to play is called Klondike. But did you know there are like 15 different versions of Klondike? Solitaire.org has them all it seems. And each one comes with a history or brief description as well as instructions for playing.
Beynd that, they have about 25 other versions of solitaire. I was intrigued by Freecell, which I began to play and I think started to understand. But I ended up back with my classic Klondike. At least I challenge myself a bit and played with the three card draw.
This is a site in which you can easily and happily fall into the “rabbit hole” of fun. Because it doesn’t end with Solitaire. In addition to Solitaire there are other card games, Mahjong, Hidden Object, Match 3, Logic and Word games. Basically, if it is a game you have played with friend, on paper, or on a computer they probably have it.
Again, being “old school” I naturally find myself drawn to those types of games. I love the Daily Crossword for example. It works just like a paper puzzle. The ones I played were pretty simple, although challenging enough to keep me on my toes. What is love is the game has a “digital eraser”. When you type in a word if the letter is correct it is green. If not it is red. No more guessing, or erasing that one letter over and over. And this was all happening long before Wordle...
They also have a Daily Word search, which again is the classic games you used to see in paperback books in the checkout lane at the Supermarket. (OK, I’m dating myself). You can choose the size of your game 12x12, 14x14, etc. The larger the puzzle of course the more complex. Every day is a new puzzle.
Honestly I don’t understand Mahjong, but I had family who played it a lot when I was younger. I started poking around, and honestly I can’t say that I was taken by it, but now I understand what all of those strange words and sounds meant I was hearing as a kid.
As you can tell from all of this, I am really taken by this site. I think because of its simplicity, but also because of the enormous breadth of information and fun! I am curious as to what one of my 13 year old clients would think of it. But I know for sure their parents would love it. This is, in my opinion, why and when the internet is fabulous. These folks behind solitataire.org clearly have a love for the games that made our childhoods, and our lives. They have made them available in a digital form that still captures the joy and excitement that playing these games brought to us all.
If you share any of these memories, and loved crosswords, hidden objects, poker, blackjack or solitaire - check it out. But give yourself a bit of time. I promise you it won’t be a short visit. Probably, like me you will find yourself deeply engrossed in a game you had forgotten how much you loved.