Thursday, April 11, 2013

Found this on Deadspin


Candy Land: The Game You Can Play With 30 Of Your Emotionally Stunted Friends

A few years ago, local blogger Jasper Infante served his court-ordered community service in a day-care center for developmentally disabled children and came back with a question: Why can't fully-grown, marginally-employed, overeducated, semi-competent adults enjoy Candy Land?  It sounded silly - but this is a man who takes Candy Land seriously.

On a recent afternoon, Infante is leaning against a vintage server tower in the garage of his Mission District home.  Amidst a swirl of crude photographs of scrawled graffiti, empty tall cans, and flyers for his Candy Land league, a stack of pristine, unopened copies of Hasbro's iconic sweets-themed game sit poised, ready to make their debut.  "You know Hasbro released various versions of the game," he says.  "There's even a fucking Dora the Explorer edition.  We don't fuck with that.  Classic Candy Land or no Candy Land," he says, matter-of-factly.

It's Monday evening - league night - and in two hours, an assemblage of young San Franciscans will pack into a dimly-lit back room of Non Sequitur, a Mission watering hole popular with bloggers and other bloggers.  The back room, or "Candy Castle," plays host to some of the most competitive Candy Land seen outside preschools, and some players even arrive dressed as Princess Lolly or the more recently added Duke of Swirl.

Slowly the players coalesce around a dozen gameboards and, almost imperceptibly, play begins.  The reassuring sound of cards being drawn and tokens advanced on the board fills the room, punctuated by the occasional whoop of delight or a hissed curse that can only mean one has landed on a licorice square.  The crowd is incredibly diverse - young and early middle aged, white and very white, all united only by a love of the game and a noticeable lack of drive.

It's rare that you'll find an amateur Candy Land player who's been able to leave his day job for the craft, but that's what Infante has managed to do.  "Hard to say where it goes," Infante muses, squinting into the barlight amidst the murmur of a room full of Candy Land in progress.  "Are we going to be on ESPN within a year?  Maybe.  Nationwide soon?  Possibly.  Get better attendance than any Marlins game?  Already there. The world is really our oyster.  Or should I say our Gumdrop Mountains?"

You should, Jasper.  You most certainly should.

(Inspired by true events)

8 comments:

Annie said...

I don't know how there aren't any comments for this yet, but my god, bravo, sir! Truly inspiring.

Andrea Prete said...

Wow. Wonder if someone is going to start a rival "Chutes and Ladders" tourney.
" ... And the crowd goes wild when *insert hipster dude's name here* lands on square 28 and advances to square 84, but then the crowd gives a collective 'oh no' as he spins a 3 and lands on square 87 and plummets to square 24 putting him in last place."

Andrea Prete said...

Oh, and don't forget the "Spill the Beans vs. Don't Break the Ice" tourney and for the rowdier crowd: "Hungry Hungry Hippos"

Lisa said...

Thank you for reading the original Deadspin article because I completely ignored it. How is this real life?! Why can't we just drink to, ya know, DRINK anymore? God San Francisco, you are sometimes THE WORST.

(I might be down with playing Candy Land over booze though. Maybe.)

generic said...

But Ping Pong is one of the most popular sports in the world.

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