The other day my wife and I decided to play Monopoly which is something we have not done in a long time.  It is of those games we used to play as kids, especially on New Year's Eve when you have a long time to kill.  The game started out fun as we enjoyed spending the time together in some friendly competition.  Then as the game wore on, it became less fun.  Eventually, it became obvious that I was going to win but that it was still going to be some time.  Soon the inevitability of the outcome overcame the funness and we called the game.

Monopoly is a competitive game in which all the players try to win by beating the other players.  Those sorts of games are very fun and are very common.  However, there is a different sort of game available, a cooperative game.  In these games, all the players work together to reach a common goal.  Some examples of cooperative games include Castle Panic and Forbidden Island which is one of our favorites.

In Forbidden Island, the players work together to reach a common goal.  From description:
 In this game, teamwork proves essential to locate the Earth Stone, the Statue of the Wind, the Crystal of Fire, and the Ocean's Chalice as the Island floods beneath your feet. Adventure... if you dare!
The point of the game is to capture 4 relics and safely escape the island.  Each turn, part of he island gets flooded making it increasingly difficult to survive and win.  The players all work together to capture the relics, keep the island from flooding and helping one another.  Also, since the game is cooperative, discussing strategy and tactics together is not only encouraged but required to win the game.

One thing I like about the game is it emphasizes working together rather than against each other.  In that way it is a nice metaphor for how a marriage can work.  A couple working together to reach a common goal.  

It is also a game the whole family can enjoy.  Since the game is all about working together, there is no problem helping a younger player knowing where to move it which cards to flip.

If you have never tried a cooperative game, give Forbidden Island a try.

Wil Wheaton playing Forbidden Island
Wil Wheaton plays Castle Panic


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