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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

Player of Games, #15: Match II

Some of these countries no longer exist

You have to remember that 1980 was a far, far more innocent time. We had three channels on the TV (maybe five if you count WSBK and WNDS). The Atari and VCR were only just beginning to show up in living rooms and basements, with their promise of seductive electronic sedation. We were cartoon kids, play-outside kids, find-a-way-to-entertain-ourselves-or-mom-will-find-one-for-us kids.


Enter Match II. A memory game with national flags. Could anything better encapsulate the eat-your-brain-vegetables earnestness of Jimmy Carter's America? You'll have fun AND you'll learn something!


In all fairness, we did play with this thing quite a bit, but in fidelity to the imaginative entrepreneurship of the age, we used it as the springboard for a game we called, informally, "United Nations". We'd turn all the flags face down, and when we flipped one over it meant the ambassador from that country had arrived. Our job was to come up with names, back stories, potentially some misadventures that had befallen the diplomat on their way to New York. In all honesty, the specifics of the game elude me - it's been over forty years - but I do recall pestering my older brother to play it with me long after the exercise had lost its luster for him. It was frankly diplomatic of him to indulge me for as long as he did.

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