Short but not sweet

Hasbro, the company which produces the most famous board games, has brought out quick twenty minute versions of Monopoly and Scrabble because nowadays there is no time to play a decent game. Apparently, our lifestyle does not allow children to play a game that may take a couple of hours. We are told that children today are so time poor that they have to emulate Road Runner (Beep Beep) on speed. What rubbish!.

It’s not that children don’t have the time to play prolonged games. It’s rather that their parents can’t be bothered sitting down with them and spending time playing with their own children. So they’d rather invest in computer games like Play Station which take much longer than twenty minutes to complete. In fact their main attraction is that they can occupy their precious little darlings for hours on end so that the parents can be free to do whatever they choose away from the children.

If the children find it hard to play Monopoly or Scrabble for a long time it’s because they have not been taught to occupy themselves with pursuits that may not give instant gratification. Computer games are noted for offering immediate rewards. You either hit or miss and then you go to the next step. Bang Bang and you score or get annihilated. Not much forward planning there. It’s all a bit of a wank really, if you get my drift.

How sad it is that parents and children don’t get to enjoy playing mind games instead of reflex ones. Where’s the conversation when you have to keep your eye on the monster or the student who’s going to destroy 32 pupils at college? Yes, I kid you not, there has been a game devised by an American living in Australia who decided it was a great idea to play the “I killed my fellow students at Virginia Tech” game.

No doubt this young man never sat down with his own parents to play a complete game of Scrabble, during which there was an exchange of ideas or a discussion about the spelling of a word. So he went to his room, closed the door and amused himself with fast and furious computer games. The result of all this neglect by his parents is that he sees nothing wrong with inventing a massacre at college game. After all, where could he learn any values? Surely not from the internet.

I am very sad when I hear about parents talking about their busy schedule. What they really mean is that the children whom they chose to bring into the world do not fit into their chosen schedule. Hairdressers, shopping, facials, pubs, waxing their privates and seeing their friends all take precedent over sharing a kid’s game that takes longer than twenty minutes.

Games company, Hasbro, recognises that it’s a matter of parental priorities and is catering to it. I suspect that many parents spend more time walking their dogs than talking to their children, so I guess, twenty minute games are an improvement on nothing at all.


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