Yahtzee and MurderOctober 3, 2011
Tragic news out of the Sunshine State last week when a Florida man attempted to choke his wife to death during a friendly game of Yahtzee. Fortunately, the poor woman survived but was forced to abandon the game in which she had already rolled three Yahtzees. Surely a personal high score was in the making. Her sore-loser husband was charged with domestic battery, kidnapping/false imprisonment of an adult, resisting law enforcement officer without violence, and obstructing someone from using the 911 emergency service.
There is no denying that Yahtzee has a bloody past. Earlier this year, a successful murder was committed by three young men against their own mother. The suspects’ only motive was their mother’s refusal to play Yahtzee. The game’s violent history can be traced back centuries to societal uprisings and revolutions that used Yahtzee as inspiration. This begs the question, why are we seeing a spike in Yahtzee-related violence and what can we do to stop it?
As documented in The Yahtzee Manifesto, the game of Yahtzee was built on peaceful principles. Rather than inciting divisions like in Monopoly or Risk, Yahtzee celebrates humanity’s diversity by bringing people together. Once a player becomes aware of Yahtzee’s true nature, an undeniable spirit of camaraderie overtakes her and fellow players come to be viewed as equals rather than opponents. Many Yahtzeeists today use the game as a means of enlightenment or as a way to gain a deeper knowledge of reality. In fact, there are scores of monasteries and nunneries around the world that practice Yahtzee to promote global peace and personal healing. What other board game can say that?
So it would appear that the recent trend of physical violence at the Yahtzee table cannot be attributed to the game itself, but is a symptom of larger ills within modern society. To open this Pandora’s box would require an entire manifesto of its own. Suffice it to say that even in these troubled times, we must not lay the blame upon a game as gallant as Yahtzee. Indeed, without the ever-increasing popularity of Yahtzee and the spread of its non-violent ideals, the world may well be even worse off than it already is.