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I accidentally invented the referee the other day. We were at my daughter's soccer game and there was a slight dispute about whether the ball had gone into the goal the right way--through the front, as opposed to the wrong way, through the side. Just then a teenager wearing a yellow vest ambled over and announced that it was a fair goal, that it had gone in through the front. That was a big relief to those of us on the sidelines who'd each seen different versions of the goal, and it was a relief as well because the two coaches had had a slightly uncomfortable moment of each assuming it had gone in whichever way would have favored their own teams. Wow, if only there could always be some impartial observer calling the shots, I thought. And then I realized that the yellow vest was the yellow vest the volunteer teen referees wore, and that that was precisely the purpose of the teen who'd been paying attention. We are a huge game-playing family. Games at this point are kind of divided into those that don't require referees--the wii comes in handy since it just tell you if the shot was in or not, keeps track of points, tells you whose turn it is, etc. and Sorry! is nice since all the really nasty moves are actually dictated by cards you draw right there in front of everybody. Fantan is also pretty straightforward. But even games like Yahtzee can lead to disputes (how many rolls was that?) and disagreements. Pictureka falls into the 'we need a referee!' category. But we love that we're all back on speaking terms. It's a massive game of Where's Waldo, if Waldo had no Waldo, and was instead filled with very edgy Spy vs. Spy types of graphics. The board is really nine different panels, and the reason you never, say, find all the objects and never need to play the game again, is that there are prompts during the game where you flip the two-sided boards, switch, or rotate them. You draw color coded cards--one color is 'all play'--first to find an object wins the card. Another card goes to the highest bidder, who then finds the items on the card in 30 seconds. Some of the objects are straightforward--find 5 hearts, for example. Others leave something to the imagination, which means the four of us who stay up to play will end up pouting and fuming and whining. Find 8 things a doctor would use. Well, a table? a lamp? a flashlight? It didn't say find things a doctor would use while BEING A DOCTOR, did it? You can imagine how well we do with 'seven things that fly'--does steam from a teapot fly? Yes? No? Why not? Be prepared to debate that one through clenched teeth. Or better yet, just get a teenager in a yellow vest to sit somewhere nearby.