A friend invited me to her Bunko night last night. I've heard a lot about Bunko. I've been kind of wanting to experience it, thus my friend's invitation. Interesting bit of culture, it is.
Let me say up front that I did enjoy the evening. I didn't know most of these women, but they were all very friendly. We had good conversations and a tasty salad supper (a distinctly women's meal, as one lady noted). My friend, the evening's hostess, is celebrating her 50th birthday in a week, so we all surprised her with black attire and gag gifts (think Dentu-creme and prune juice). It was a fun night.
But the game itself . . . hmmm. I don't know that I've ever seen a game that was not designed for children that is so completely devoid of skill or strategy. To be frank, it is a mindless, pointless game of luck.
But it is apparently intentionally so. I got the impression that the heart of the game is less the rolling of the dice and more the physical rearranging of the players. You have partners, but you have to have a different partner with each turn. After each turn, half of the players at your table move to another table. Every five to ten minutes, you are playing with a new little group of people. Put this with a mixed gender group of singles and it could almost qualify as a speed-dating event.
So, you're changing company all night long, playing a game that requires no mental effort beyond simple addition. I do believe that this game was invented solely to provide an excuse for social interaction. There is really no other benefit to be derived from it.
Not that I'm dissing social interaction as a benefit -- by no means! It's just kind of interesting that someone somewhere thought they needed to make up a game for the sole purpose of facilitating it. Why don't they all just sit around and talk since that's really what they're there for? Maybe because their husbands would be more grumpy about giving them up for an evening of hen-house chatter than for an evening of competitive table "sport"? Or maybe because the possibility of winning a little bit of money (again, solely based on luck) makes the idea more palatable to the family left behind with leftovers to reheat? I dunno . . .
Personally -- although I did enjoy the evening, as I said -- I think I prefer to get my hen-house chatter at a scrapbook night or something. I worship a bit too much at the altar of productivity to not try to mix my social time with something else I need to get done anyway. Not that that's something I should be proud of . . .