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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Rant on Games

One of the things authors do is watch people. We pay attention to everything even if we seem to be not paying attention at all. We even eavesdrop on others conversations. Were the cats of the people world, curious about everything and always vigilant and hunting the next story or idea for a blog.

Today I over heard two people complaining about one of these new game systems where you don’t even need a controller. You only have to stand in front of your television and simulate performing an activity to control the character and action on the screen in a real time computer game. I heard them explain how this ‘sucked’ and how they have to do it this way for it to work right. I was shocked how one of them explained how he could simulate the movements laying on his couch so he wouldn’t actually have to stand up and move his body to play the game.

Seriously! I have the capacity to play the perfect straight man and not crack a smile, not even a smirk in the funniest of situations. I had to walk away before before I burst out laughing from their descriptions or broke down and commented on how monumentally lazy do you have to be to lay on a couch to play a game designed to be played standing still in front of your television. It is not like Wii golf you actually have to carry your own golf clubs for eighteen holes. Or even if you rented a golf cart there is tons of walking in golf. One of the guys was talking about an Archery Game where instead of releasing the arrow up by his shoulder he had to simulate an 80’s swinging arm motion and like playing an air guitar to get the arrow to release.

First off there was no such thing as computer games when I was a child. The first computer game we ever played was PONG! A dial, two moving dashes and a square that moved around the board. We spent hours playing it when it first came out. These guys were discussing this sucked and that is no good. Anybody remember those little paddles with the cheapest form of a rubber band stapled to the the paddle and a small bouncing ball? That game sucked!

I truly love the fact my two young boys like playing with toys and love going outside to play. One of them is nuts about dressing up and imagining he is different characters as he runs around the back yard having great adventures. My other son could play all afternoon with a ball, it doesn’t matter what kind. My twenty-one year daughter just recently bought a chess board and brought it over and left it here so we could play whenever she visits. Chess! She remembered from all the times we played when we were younger. She still wants to play chess.

I am amazed each time I see the newest technology and the games people are playing. For myself I will chase my boys playing the bad guy, throw and catch the ball for hours and sometimes while chasing my other son. Eventually I will teach them the wonders and majesty of the game of chess. We play the hand slap game. Not to inflict pain or be cruel, but to build up fast and accurate hands. My boys play with nerf pistols. It builds their muscles up cocking them each time they want to fire it. I also got them each a nerf sword as we are Scottish and sword play is in our blood. I should have thought that one out and bought the shields first, the swords later.

I can’t help but wonder how much better off our children would be if we unplugged the video games and gave them some balls, dolls, costumes,swords and guns. Of course I come from the old school where there was winners and losers, and if you didn’t like losing then learn to play better. When you lost it did build character! Some of the most influential people I remember were the better athletes who helped the other kids learn how to do the things in gym class, cheered them on and played with those that others didn’t want to. That taught me leadership skills.

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