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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

Player of Games, #22: Go For It!

Lifestyles of the Rich and Douchy

It hurts my soul that board games released on 1986 are listed online as "rare and vintage!". I mean, it's only been what, ten or fifteen years at most? No, don't answer that.

One of the cool things about the 1980s (and there were many, many, many) is that there existed a proliferation of goofy board games that professed to provide some sort of real life simulacrum. This is what we had before The Sims or Second Life, kids. These were games that included schooling, marriage, careers, building wealth. Basically wholesale capitalist indoctrination. Think Life, or Payday. Come on, friends, let's sit on the floor on Saturday afternoon and pretend to be lawyers and teachers and do our best to make ends meet. Oh, and whoever collects the most money and assets wins. The Reagan era at its best.

Go For It! embraced this consumerist catechism in full throat. In this game, the entire point was to accumulate three differently-valued items in four different categories: Wheels (cards), House & Home (real estate), Goin' Places (travel), and Feelin' Good (leisure). You could not assemble a more hedonistic, gluttonous set of categories. With Go For It!, you traveled around in a circular calendar, getting paid and experiencing economic opportunities and downturns, all the while attempting to gather multiple homes, cars, and other trappings of affluence. I don't remember seeing a tax-cut space on the board, but I'm sure that's just because they didn't think of it.

We played this many times. The Game Where You Can Have it All!, as the box cover proclaimed. The endgame, by the way, was called the Go For It! round, in which a player would pass their birthday token on the circle and declare their intention to attempt to win. Then all the other players would train their fire on that player, trying to ensure that they lacked the credentials for victory at the completion of that circuit. Greed and cutthroat competition your thing? Well then, by all means, go for it.

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