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Obert Opines: Ban 'Duck Duck Goose'

I’m sitting in my friend's basement in round one of my favorite game: "Duck Duck Goose."

My friend, let’s call him Moon Unit (just kidding, let's call him James) goes around the circle for the first time and ducks everyone. 

“Duck, Duck, Ginger Duck,” he says, referring to me.

This doesn’t phase me; my mind and body are prepared for action.

The next go-around, James ducks everyone and gooses me. Being the skilled player I am, my hands jump up like a snake, biting his calf and bringing him to the ground in pain and embarrassment.

All the participants saw I tagged him, no issues, but as I stood up to become the goose while expecting James to go in the middle, chaos ensued. James claimed that there were no outs in the game and that he should just continue to be a goose. After a long argument, I finally decided to look up the rules.

Here is what I found from the leading Duck Duck Goose rules site, Scouts.


First of all, who on God’s green earth actually calls the picker a "farmer?” Secondly, there are absolutely zero consequences for any negative outcome in "Duck Duck Goose," let alone rewards for positive outcomes. You got tagged before you made it back to your spot? No problem, try again. You get to do the best part of the game all over again and be goose. How about you tag someone and get away with it? You sit right back down and just keep on playing.

You want to be done because you’ve played for five hours? Yeah, that’s too bad, there is no fundamental ending to "Duck Duck Goose." You could play and dominate a single game of "Duck Duck Goose" for 37 years and still not come close to finding the satisfaction of winning. I made all of these displeasures audible to my playing partners, And their response? "It’s a game for five-year-olds. It's just supposed to be fun, and I’m taking it too seriously."

At five years old, all you know is fun; your entire life is fun. What’s wrong with teaching them about free will, overcoming adversity and weighing your enemies? How about just a little bit of order and structure?

A lot of people in my generation are blamed for taking games too seriously; this grinds my gears. I’m sorry for being competitive in a competition!

"Duck Duck Goose" is a whimsical activity with a fun animal theme. I would even argue it tests certain athletic abilities, like reaction time, speed and lateral movement, but morally, there is no winning and losing. How is anyone going to learn any moral lesson if their failures are not punished?

In conclusion, don't have your kids play "Duck Duck Goose.” Instead, I would have them play "Texas Hold ‘Em" and read "Sun Tzu’s Art of War" while they are at it. Otherwise, your son or daughter will end up like me, generationally skilled with no reward to show for being trapped in some competitive purgatory.

Bobby Gorbett is a senior studying journalism. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Bobby know by tweeting him @GorbettBobby.

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