How long does it take to play the game?
First, players can decide to play the long version (locating four generations - 31 names) or the short version (15 names). Second, the length of time depends somewhat on how many players there are. For example, the short version with five players can take approximately one hour. If information about your ancestors is being discussed as you play the game the time, of course, will be extended. The game can end any time the players feel they have played long enough, especially if young children are playing.
What is the object of the game? The object of the game is to gain points by checking off the boxes on the pedigree chart (score card) and visiting as many locations as possible. When the game ends the person with the most points wins. The educational object is to show an individual where to go to find information about their ancestors and the type of information that can be found at each location. The object can also be to have a platform for talking about each of your ancestors as you locate them on the pedigree sheet.
Do I need to have all the information about my ancestors collected before we begin to play the game?
The game is generic in that you can play the game just as a game without any information about your ancestors. If a person wants to discuss with children or other family members information about their ancestors, having that information available would be a great help.
How does a person learn about finding genealogical information from the game?
The game is set up to have players go to ten locations where genealogical information can be found in the real world. The information on the situation cards for each location is the same information they would find at that physical location.
What are the situation cards and how do they help in finding information?
When a person researching information on their ancestors goes to a location in the ‘real world,’ they may or may not find the information they were looking for. In The Game of Genealogy, the situation cards are made up to mimic that experience. The situation cards tell the player whether or not they found information, if they need to go to another source or location to verify that information, or if they are given bonus points for an act of service they provided while at that location.
Do young children enjoy playing the game?
This is a quote from a letter received from a grandmother who watches her two grandchildren while the parents are at work, “I want to share something very special to me about this game. I have a 5-year-old and a 2 ½ -year-old that beg to play the game. You have on the box ages 8 and up, but they love the game. The 5-year-old leaves for kindergarten and while he’s gone the 2 ½-year-old pulls up his chair and begs to play the game. I’ll tell him to wait a minute, he keeps ding-donging me until we sit down together and play.”
Do I need to have the names of my ancestors when we play?
You do not need to have names of ancestors to play the game. However, as you can see from the following quote, children love to know how their families fit together, “I have the names of grandmas and grandpas on cards. When we play I give him a card so he knows who we are looking for, then we follow the directions…he gets so excited because he is looking for Grandma _________ or Grandpa __________.”
Do we need to have information such as birth and death dates, where the person was born, or where they lived? How much family information do we need?
You can gear the information about your family to your individual situation. Playing the game gives parents an opportunity teach their children about their ancestors and tell them stories that will help them relate to them.
How many ancestors should we look for and how long should we play?
With small children you may only be able to find and discuss the lives of one or two ancestors before they begin to lose interest. Parents know when their children are ready to quit. The next time you play you can start where you left off and continue from there.
Is there a high degree of luck involved, or does it promote a spirit of friendly competition?
There is a degree of luck involved depending on the situation cards drawn by a player. The game also promotes friendly competition.