From the backyard to the kitchen table, Dads find any occasion to play a game. It’s what makes each day a bit more fun! To celebrate Father’s Day FableVisionaries share their favorite they’ve played with their dad.
To start Peter H. Reynolds, FableVision’s co-founder, shares a story about a “game” his dad would play and the influence it’s had on his creative life.
“My father, Keith Hamilton Reynolds, was most often busy with his calculator trying to keep up with his job as treasurer for a medical instruments company or tinkering with his car. His creativity emerged making furniture in our garage.
He was a quiet man and I don't think it occurred to him to teach me and I don't think playing a game with me ever occurred to him. Although, in his own quiet way, he played a ‘game’ with me that has stayed with me for decades.
Something magical happened on the beach on Cape Cod each summer. Dad would take a stick, or in later years, his cane, and draw a man with a hat with a bird on his head. I was so amazed at how great an artist he was that I ran home and tried it myself.
Good games are challenges and this quiet little ‘game’ inspired me to ‘make my mark.’ To this day, whenever I can, I find a way to add a bird in my books, and quite often find a place on a character’s head for it to perch.
A tribute, a nod, a thank you to my father.”
Tone Thyne, Vice President of Creative
"My Dad would often throw down the gauntlet at the dinner table and challenge his six kids to a fierce 'Try To Laugh Without Smiling' competition. Whoever could successfully make the sound of genuine laughing without cracking a smile was declared the winner. He was always the champ. Go ahead….get yourself out of earshot of your co-workers and give it a try. You’ll understand why we alway had such tremendous respect for his finely-crafted talent."
Sarah Ditkoff, Communications and Development Strategist
“My dad taught my brother and I how to play Cribbage. The most memorable thing (and probably his favorite thing) is when we kids are losing really badly and he gets to say, ‘you just got skunked.’
He says it really quietly, like it's the worst news he's ever delivered, but you can tell how pleased he is that he's winning. Or even worse – ‘you just got...double skunked,’ and my brother and I howl, ‘nooooooo!’ in response.
I can count on one hand the number of times I've managed to beat my dad at Cribbage, but I still love to play. I still favor a good card game over most other games.”
Anny Din, Production Assistant
“My favorite game I played with my dad was tennis! He used to take me and my other siblings out every other weekend and teach us how to volley a tennis ball. I could barely hold up a tennis racket because I was so young and the baby of all of us but I loved those weekends.”
Carl Haber, Marketing Intern
“My dad and I bonded through playing tennis when I was little. Every weekend, we’d hit the court and I was determined to best ‘The Wall’ I affectionately nicknamed him. I always thought that when I grew up big and tall I’d finally be able to beat him, but I never gained those last couple inches! Needless to say, my dad and I still have a great time when we duke it out on the concrete.”
Michael Lin, QA/IT Specialist
“When I was very young, perhaps about seven, my parents bought a special training chess set for the family; each piece had its legal movement patterns drawn on the pieces themselves, to help new players learn the game. My dad, no doubt grooming me to be an intellectual of the highest order (at the time, he was an avid Frasier viewer), took a vested interest in helping me learn to play the game, and we’d regularly play against one another on lazy summer days and quiet evenings.
I never won very often against my dad, even though I’m sure he must have pulled some punches to make it a fairer fight. I doubt the average grandmaster allowed as many ‘take-backs’ as my father did, either, but being able to sit down and match wits with my dad made me feel much more grown-up. For my part, I held nothing back and gained a love for brain-frazzling board games that continues today. To eight-year-old me, there was no battlefield more hard-fought or brutal than each friendly game of chess across the living room couch.
Except maybe the Scrabble board.”
Alexa Molinaro, Marketing Intern
“One of my favorite games I played with my dad was during ‘bring your daughter to work day’ when he would bring my older sister and I to his job in New York City. He kept this big orange bouncy ball in his office that we would use to play a huge game of monkey in the middle after everyone else left for the day. I loved it because we looked super silly running and jumping around in our dress clothes and it showed me that even though my dad is a hard worker he still knows how to have fun.”
Keith Zulawnik, Lead Artist
“Oh man, so many games. My house was always fresh with new video games growing up. As a kid, we were all glued to the Super Nintendo. Games like Zelda: Link to the Past, UN Squadron, and Pilot Wings. After that we leveled up into the N64 days, where Mario Kart 64 and GoldenEye reigned supreme. Once I moved out, Xbox Live still kept us playing together. My dad and I would roam on horseback in the wild west in Red Dead Redemption and cruise around in Grand Theft Auto. Finally, the kicker... the whole family would quest together in World of Warcraft ’til 3 a.m. (Haha.) So to say ‘play a game together’…well...it's kind of an understatement, it's been years of gaming for the Zoo's!
Jordan Persson, Production Assistant
“My father and I played a lot of different games – card games, board games, billiards, word games, and more – but, given its long history, Chess tended to be available in the strangest places.”
Brian Grossman, Technical Director
“As a father of a second grader, a fifth grader and a seventh grader, finding time to spend together can be difficult, but finding games that everyone enjoys is even more challenging. We’ve recently discovered Apples to Apples Freestyle. Unlike standard Apples to Apples which asks players to make connections among words or phrases printed on cards, the Freestyle version allows players to create their own words and phrases. A recent game, which included my parents, my wife, my three children and me presented the question: ‘If I ruled a country, I would make it famous for…’
Answers included: 'being the world’s worst tyranny,’ 'kicking the crap out of every other country,’ and 'pudding.’ Needless to say, the chosen answer was 'pudding.' On this father’s day, I’m grateful for my family and hope there will be many more rounds of Apples to Apples Freestyle in the future.”
Andrea Calvin, Brand and Development Strategist
“My dad is big on exploring the outdoors. Growing up we would go camping every summer, take hiking adventures at Blue Hills, and venture out to the Cape Cod Canal in the winter. My love of nature comes from my dad and so does my love of kite flying. I have a few childhood memories of assembling kites and heading to the beach or an open field. I would hold on the kite and my dad would shout ‘Annie run,’ I would take off, my dad unraveling the string as I went, hoping for a gust of wind to take the kite. Once in the air, we’d take turns keeping the kite soaring and out of the trees – sometimes we were unlucky (as was the fate of the Strawberry Shortcake metallic kite).”