Last Christmas I got my sister Alice this game from her Amazon wishlist.
How to play: Each Spot It! card is covered with cartoon illustrations of eight easily identifiable items – a dolphin, a cactus, a key – that kind of thing. You lay out a couple of these cards, and the first to call out the matching pair of illustrations wins the round and collects those cards. The cards are replaced and the process is repeated until the deck is gone and whoever is in possession of the most cards wins.
I was excited about this game because, since it’s so straightforward and visual, I figured it’d be easy to explain to my mom and get her to play with us. And I also figured it’d be an opportunity for my mom and I to brush up on our respective English and Korean vocabulary as we named the matching items.
I was right on that first point: My mom took to Spot It! right away, growing her stack of cards with the same deranged enthusiasm she’d previously shown for Jenga.
My mom was quick. In fact, in her mad rush to beat me and my sister, my mom didn’t bother to even name each item. “이거! (Ego!),” she’d declare, using the Korean word for “this.” My previous intentions to identify any items I could in Korean went out the window; I was sluggish enough finding matching sets and conjuring up words in my native English. My mom’s card collection swelled at an alarming rate – even though my sister and I adopted her triumphant “Ego!” technique.
When all was said and done, Alice and I had collectively collected less than half the cards that my mom had, without having learned any new words in Korean. We called for a rematch but my mom, satisfied with her 100% winning streak, called it quits. Ego, indeed.