Growing up, I played a lot of tabletop games with my parents and brother. Yes, there was Monopoly of course, as well as other roll-and-move games such as Winnetou, but also tableau builders like Ogallala and a stock market game called Das Börsenspiel which required a little more strategic thinking. It was mostly my brother who would teach us these sort of games, and my parents would teach us trick-taking games like Skat and Doppelkopf. So in this article I want to look at how I learned those games and how the rules were taught.
Anyway - yes, I have my own kids now, games are great for socialisation stuff. Following procedures, cause and effect, magic circle, winning and losing gracefully, all that stuff. That's what they are really soaking up, I hope. Also, absolutely, yes, tinkering with systems. Why does this rule exist? Etc. Especially with my youngest who really enjoys making his own games. Probably the most longstanding house rule we have is that in Zooloretto there are bonus points for babies.
We played all the Gamemaster series games for years, but Axis and Allies was always the favorite. I recruited various friends to play over the years and I bought the old man the Xeno games expansion. The expansion lead to many long weekends of Axis and Allies games. Man I miss those.
We had a few 'house rules' that were really just playing wrong. One day a friend of mine who we had taught to play was bored and actually read the rule book and set us straight on how subs and transports really worked .
Looking back games have been pretty big in the background, something I hadn't thought of until now. Migration into old Avalon Hill games at 13ish was likely natural. I even taught my grandmother to play Gladiator. She did well incidentally.