Jenga

Jenga is a game of physical and mental strength. It is enjoyed for its simplicity and this simplicity is probably the main reason for its success. It is the second most popular game in the world-after monopoly. Over fifty million games have been sold worldwide, and this game can be played with a variety of groups. People can play with friends, family, classmates, and one can even play by themselves! Both kids and adults can play this game and there’s no sense of it being categorized as a children’s game or an adult game, which is great because it makes the game universal. And for a “board” game to be universal is kind of rare. Also, on a side note, I really do not know where to exacty categorize this game. It’s obviously not a video game and it is not a board game, for board games are defined as a game in which counters or pieces are placed, removed,  or moved on a premarked surface or “board.” I am not sure what exactly to put it under. Does it have it’s own category? I really do not know (if you do know please comment!). Anyhow, this game is nothing extraordinary in terms of design or complexity. And the fact that this ordinary game is so massively popular is beyond amazing! It’s mind boggling because not many games can say that. I cannot think of a game that looks as ordinary as Jenga or has the same simplicity that has this world-wide appeal. It is also amusing to think that a game of stacking plain wooden blocks made it so big in the gaming industry. It goes to show that simplicity sells and a game does not need to be complex or fancy to sell or to be fun. Just like the game  pick up the sticks. It’s an extremely simple game, it is similar to Jenga in the way that you must remove a piece without disturbing the other pieces, but it did not gain as much popularity as Jenga. But, nonetheless, in my opinion, it is a fun and entertaining game. Now to discuss the rules and procedures of Jenga.  During the game of , players take turns to remove a block from a tower and balance it on the top. Players need to create a taller structure that becomes more unstable over time. The winner is last person to successfully remove and place a block. As stated above, the game is simple. It only contains 54 wooden blocks. Nothing else. With the blocks you need to stack them on top of each other in 18 levels in groups of three.  When you stack them up they need to be placed adjacent to each other along their long side and perpendicular to the previous level.  After the tower is built, the game begins. Players are only allowed to use one hand while pulling out a block from the middle of the tower, which makes it difficult. One cannot balance the tower with their other hand either. This is where the mental aspect comes to play. Players need to be able to use strategy to choose which block to carefully take out that would not make the other blocks fall down, and they also need to place that block back on the top of the tower, again, without making the other blocks fall down. One must be able to choose a block wisely and precisely. They must also be able to have a steady hand for if one’s nerves gets in the way, then their hands may shake a bit, and this can cause them to lose them the game.  While playing an array of emotions and feelings are present, such as nerves, excitement, and competition. People never want to be the one to make the tower collapse, unless, of course, you have a weird obsession or agenda to make the blocks fall or you just like knocking things down I don’t know (haha). 

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5 comments
  1. snbrown said:

    I enjoy Jenga a lot, its one of those games where I sit and play with my family when we are all together. Though the game is being played in a comfortable and playful setting, it still asks people to strategize to win. Yes the game is simple, and the simplicity of it makes it fun. i believe that it is a game for just about any age My 8 years old cousin and grandmother even enjoy the game, they also know that to win they must stop and think about every move before they make it. It is not one of those strategy games that will have you thinking for a long time, and I think this makes it a little more enjoyable, but we are asked to put our thinking caps on from time to time. I also like this game because it is not very intense. if you do not win, you won’t become upset and swear not to play ever again. Though this game does not offer a gold star or any form of reward at the end, it is still a fun game to play.

  2. crhyde said:

    I’m not sure that I agree with your statement that Jenga is a game of “physical and mental strength” that’s more how I would describe a sport. Maybe strength isn’t the write word, but I see what you’re getting at. Maybe Jenga is a game of mental and physical poise or control? Overall though I like this post, I had no idea it was the second most popular game in the world. I think Jenga’s simplicity gives it an edge over so many other games. Even though monopoly is more popular I feel that because Jenga can be played at any given time with little time investment in the setup or play gives it a great appeal. Not to mention that despite its simplicity it can invoke such excitement or competition out of almost anybody.

  3. cahross said:

    I like Jenga, but can’t say I enjoy the weird extensions of the game that have been developed over the years. The game is charming because it’s so simple yet mentally stimulating. Complicating it by fusing it with a game like Truth or Dare or altering the color or shape of the blocks is superfluous and adds nothing to what it is people enjoy about Jenga.

  4. I love to play this game. However, I don’t think the game is one that requires physical strength, mental strength yes. The simplicity of the game makes it playable for people of all ages. Sort of like the Monopoly blog in which a point was made that the game was so popular because of the simplicity and wide range of age attractions. Overall, the game keeps your attention and forces you to think, but not too hard so that the game isn’t enjoyable.

  5. sgosain said:

    I think Jenga is a great game that is part of a dying breed of games that the whole family can sit down and play together. games such as those allow a family to bond and have moments. I do disagree on the physical strength argument, because I personally feel that it does require mental strength than anything, and if it were a game of strength, that may shut itself off for a huge group of players. It’s game of strategizing that forces the player to think rather than some games that can allow a player to zone out for a long period of time and not even pay attention to the game.

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