Saturday, December 8, 2012

Saturday Morning Rant : This is what concerns me about kids today

"What are you doing?" I ask Zara.

"I am playing a game."

"Well obviously." (If you hadn't been playing games 24/7 since the dawn of time, I would not have ended up spending $500 to rebuild the hard drive!!)



And I don't use exclamation marks lightly, and have a deep distrust of people who do.

"What game?"

"It's called Pappa's Hotdoggeria - you make hot dogs for customers."

"Sounds fascinating. Is there a game on there in which you can watch paint dry?"

And I check myself because I am almost getting all misty eyed for the days of Monkey Kickball and Angry Birds.

Then I start to realize I am becoming like one of those middle aged, cross people who stood at the garden fence when I grew up and grumbled about "kids today." The same types will normally tell you how life was better when they were growing up. You left your doors unlocked blah blah and there were no child murderers - apart from Ian Brady and Myra Hindley who killed kids on the moors etc.

Am I becoming like them? That is like most of them apart from Mrs Mills who dismembered my football when it landed in her garden.

There's a great piece by Michael Chabon about this, so rather than me banging out a pale imitation, I suggest you go and find it. I'd lend you mine but I've lost it.

Essentially it argues "kids today" live sanitized lives. They live vicariously through computer games. They don't live the adventure anymore, they do it in an airless room where they are safe from predators.

Whenever I suggest to Zara we might want to head into a state park the standard response is "why?" And can we stop off at Bouncy Castle World or the video gaming arcade. Why should our perfect virtual day be sullied with a slice of reality?

There's also the self analysis piece which is never good on a Saturday morning when one wants to just loll around in bed and shut out the world.

If they're capturing Aztec temples like pint sized modern day Cortezes - without the colonialism and needless bloodshed, I'm hoping - they are not in my face asking for interactive play time. It means I can spend most of my day on the laptop.


17 comments:

  1. There was a family that lived down the street from me back in WA whose kids were always outside, and as I described it, they played 'old fashioned'. I used to see them rolling themselves down the hill in the back yard, playing tag & basketball, building skateboard and bike jumps, etc. In the rain, they had their mudboots on and were still outside. It was clear that their parents severely limited TV or computer time. They were the only children on the street that I saw outside, ever.

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    1. wow - that's interesting JoJo - sad that that kind of play is 'old fashioned'

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  2. Haha a game where you make hot dogs? Sounds delicious.

    Don't feel bad about feeling like an old person now. Because I do too. I might be from the last generation that played outdoors. Now, first graders have iphones. Kids are growing up too fast. And you want them to play outside and ride their bike all over town like you used to, but then you see a child's missing face plastered all over the news every single night and you panic, right? I don't envy people with kids for that sole reason.

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    1. It's a good point Jen - at first you are unrationally paranoid, like you think every second person is a child abductor. Then you get more used to it. Glad you feel like an old person too, even if you are un 20 something..

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  3. I think my boys are just old enough to have experienced lots of outdoor and active play when they were younger and lots of computer and video games when they were a little older. Fortunately, they are old enough to have their own computers now so I don't have to share mine with them. haha! I enjoyed this post, David. :-)

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  4. I never missed outdoor games. My parents took us yo the country every month and we hated it with passion. We made up stories about snakes and strange-looking men to convince our parents to take us back home :-)

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    1. OMG Starla - I loved going to the woods etc.

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    2. It was more of a swamp. I love the woods too.

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  5. I hear ya! And feel the conflict. But I also think kids live sanitized lives that haunt later. We have two godsons out in the real world and can't handle it. One has to have a nip (ha!) of Scotch prior to bed, after wine with dinner. The other can't hold a job because everyone's an idiot. Growing up, their parents made every concession, excused every screw-up, went to battle stations at the slightest raised eyebrow from Cousin Jane, whomever, and provided every escapism gadget possible. But, as it turned out, there's no remote or mouse or delete button for them to undo stuff in real life.

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    1. Great point Kittie - sometimes you have to fight your own battles as kids I think.

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  6. Oops, got carried away on my soapbox. Thanks for stopping by, David, and for your support. "Rings of Trust" had a super launch; I'm still kinda on a cloud. Er, a real cloud, not iCloud, LOL.

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    1. Oh no do soapbox away Kittie - I know, I;m super excited re that...

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  7. Dude, reality sucks. She'll get smacked in the gob with it soon enough. This is just one of many phases she'll go through in life. In a few years, you may wish she'd rather spend time playing a harmless video game, rather than with *boys*. (I'm just sayin', David.) ;-)
    Some Dark Romantic

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    1. yeah great thanks so much Mina :) - you remind me I need to go out and buy an AK-47 to welcome the first dater to the premises lol

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    2. It's good to be prepared. ;-)

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  8. I love to see human infants on climbing frames. They occasionally fall off and cry, but that's all part of the learning experience. If they don't start somewhere, how will they ever learn how to climb trees?

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