This morning I played Trouble with my sisters and niece. I used to love that game. So, we were sitting around playing it and I asked AMP: Why is it called trouble and when are you in trouble? Do you make trouble when you send somebody else back to the start or are you in trouble when another player is trying to send you back or is the whole thing about being in the state of trouble (always staying in it) because your situation is so precarious? And, why is it called trouble at all? What is it about making/being/staying in trouble that attracts people? That is, why are people drawn to a game with trouble as the goal?
AMP suggested looking at the rules for an explanation (thanks AMP!), but it doesn’t say anything about why you call it Trouble instead of SORRY or AGGRAVATION (for example). When the rules didn’t help, I decided to search on the interwebs. At Board Game Central they describe trouble as what you are in when an opponent that you have sent back to home gets out and comes after you (as in…uh oh. You shouldn’t have done that. You’re in trouble now). This description is very different than SORRY which is described as being about seeking revenge on others when they send you back or AGGRAVATION which is described as being about aggravating others or shutting them down when they try to take shortcuts through the game. TROUBLE, in contrast, is not about seeking revenge or upsetting your opponent; TROUBLE is about getting in trouble by suffering the consequences of your misbehaving actions (see what happens when you do something bad to someone else, you get in trouble). The focus of the game is not on the trouble you make for others (that is, on getting back at others for how they have treated you or on preventing them from moving ahead in the game), but on the trouble you make for yourself.
Trouble in TROUBLE is not an action you take but a state you are in because of your actions. Hmmm….