HCE received a lot of high-quality submissions for the Toys & Games Issue sadly, too many to fit inside the magazine! So we offered some of our shortlisted contributors the chance to be published on our website. Sam Smith is one of our regular contributors, so we felt his Toys & Games submission had earned its own page.

Keep an eye on our website for more great writing like this, in the run up to the release date of Toys & Games…

A Beginner’s Guide to Games

Samuel Smith

For humans, time to unwind and relax is key to a healthy lifestyle. And what better way to do so than by playing a game? Games are much like sports, except with far less institutional racism and paedophile rings. They tend to focus on the cerebral over the physical, and as a result are favoured by pasty, indoorsy types as opposed to popular people.
Games come in many different forms. Here, we will explore a few of the more common:
Board games are so called as they were first popularised by Gary Board in the 1960s. The fact that they’re also played on a board is purely coincidental. Like computers, the very first board games were unfeasibly large, often occupying an entire room in a house. This is where the phrase ‘games room’ is derived from. Over the years, the size of the boards decreased until they could fit in the palm of your hand. NASA has just developed a board game that fits on the head of a pin, for some reason.
Parlour games have been around since the Victorian era, and existed mainly to take people’s minds off tuberculosis and the price of moustache wax. They were played mostly by the middle classes, when the winter nights drew in and various Rippers stalked the streets. Examples of parlour games include Butler Trouble, Isn’t Our Empire Smashing and Cover Up Those Table Legs.
Party games are designed chiefly to fill in the annoying gap at a gathering between when people first arrive and when they’ve had enough to drink to be bearable. They typically involve transporting pieces of fruit between party-goers by using a slightly inappropriate part of the body, such as in the mouth, between the knees or via the sphincter. Participants are encouraged to be lightly-inebriated for maximum enjoyment, but not so twatted that they’re unable to take part in…
Drinking games are the next logical step onwards and always involve copious amounts of alcohol, despite the term ‘drinking game’ being deliberately vague in this regard. Somewhat confusingly, even though the goal of a party is to literally be the most intoxicated person there, you only receive a drink as a punishment or forfeit. Drinking games are nearly always taken too seriously by certain people and can end in tragedy. In the Year of Our Lord 2009, seventy-eight Sports Science students were sucked into a jet engine after attempting to sneak onto a runway at John Lennon International and commandeer a plane to Russia.
Mind games are played by one or both parties in a relationship, and revolve around sarcastic comments, tense exchanges and heated arguments over whose turn it is to bleach the toilet.
Reindeer games are games played by reindeer, and are mentioned in the popular Christmas song Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It’s also a heist movie from 2000, starring Ben Affleck and Charlize Theron. It currently has a rating of 5.7 out of 10 on IMDB.

Sam Smith is a former Creative Writing and Script-Writing student, who has previously experimented with both community radio broadcasting and stand-up comedy. His preferred genres of writing are sci-fi, horror and comedy. You can find Sam on Twitter: @dadwriter101