Ticket to Ride: A Big Faker in the Educational Arena.

Ticket To Ride
Several years ago I worked in a small board game store in Minnetonka, Minnesota.  I was a clerk there; helping people choose games and check out. Nothing super exciting, but I enjoyed it.

One day I approached a customer to greet them and see if they needed any help.  He was a clean cut looking middle aged man, think Mr. Rogers but minus a few years.   He was holding a copy of “Ticket To Ride” and exclaimed how he loved the game, because not only was it a great game, but it also helped teach his kids geography!  What’s not to love?

Ticket to Ride Board

A "Ticket to Ride" board.

Sometime after that I picked up a copy of TtR, and it was a fun game.  Not overly complicated, but enough so that adults stay entertained.  You could definitely play it with kids though.  However, I was horrified when I remembered the praise that father had offered.

Close up on Indiana and Minnesota
I’ve lived in two states throughout my life, and thus inaccuracies in both of these are what jumped out at me, although I have little doubt that others existed on the board.  Firstly, Chicago is not a part of Indiana.  I know they are close on a map, but Chicago is, and always will be, in Illinois.   Secondly, the spot that clearly would be Minneapolis, Minnesota, was not so.  It was labeled as “Duluth”, a town much much farther north in the state.  How could this game get it so wrong?  An accurate map doesn’t seem like a hard thing to come by.

I guess the moral of the story is, don’t count on a board game to be accurate enough to teach your kids anything.  They are great tools to use, but unless you, as a parent, check the facts you might wind up with kids who will swear that Chicago is the biggest city in Indiana.  And, frankly, that kind of taught ignorance seems unacceptable.

This entry was posted by The_Null_Entry on Monday, June 28th, 2010 at 12:23 am and is filed under Board Game Reviews, Resource Management Games . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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