How much more television are any of us able to watch during this lockdown? To be honest, I think I’m pretty much done with it for a while. No, I’m not unplugging the big screen and shoving it in a corner, but after a while, it’s no longer entertainment and I’ve noticed that I may be watching a program and have no idea what it is I’m watching. So yea, there are games, and in my house, I’ve pulled out some old classics: Scrabble, Monopoly, Risk, as well as Cribbage, Yahtzee and Dominoes.
Of course there’s some video games, but even after a few hours of those, we want to move on to something else. I had to explain the other night who has never known anything other than video games that board games were what I grew up on. Yes, I received that look. Of unbelief. But then there have been some great games over time that have lost any significance due to the advent of technology. Some have been translated to a game console or computer, but none of them actually give the real feel of what it’s like to sit across the table and interacting with one another. I told my kid stories of being a teenager and have Risk parties where we’d stay up half the night drinking Sprite ( true!) and playing a fantastic strategy game for hours. How about Go, an incredibly difficult strategy game where the players have to really consider each move.
These are not First Person Shooter games or Squad games like on a console, they are games where you win or lose by either being a better strategist, or the roll of the dice, or the cards drawn and how one plays them, determines the outcome. The only computer involved is the mind. There wasn’t a whole lot of interest at first, but now, we play Cribbage every day. I will admit that I let her win a few times at first, to build confidence and to try to instill some interest in the game. Now? A few weeks later? Yeah, I better be on my toes or she’s going to beat me every time. Good. Not that I like to lose (who does?) but now it’s a challenge to win and she now appreciates the “old days” when we didn’t have cars, or electricity, and sat around at night with candles playing board games.
So we’ve discovered here that there are other ways to entertain ourselves other than turning on the Big Black Box, or perusing the Internet for hours on end (how boring is that?). The real plus? We’ve become closer and become better acquainted with each other even though we’ve lived in the same house all her life. Amazing isn’t it? I tell her stories of being a kid, things that just never came up before, and we’ll talk about surfing (I was a surfer as a teenager) and other things that I was interested in at the time and I get to find out a little more about her (her real interests). I found it instructive that sometimes, she’ll go along with something that I want to do, although she has no actual interest in the activity and of course, I have discovered activities she’s interested in that I can participate in as well. A few I’ve never heard her mention, or maybe I never paid attention to before.
So out of this isolation, something good, I think, has happened. It’s made me a better parent (we’ll see), and now she has a better understanding of who that “old man”, her Dad is and why he ‘s so “weird” (her word) sometimes. I just laugh. she laughs, and we move on to whatever it is that will somehow get us through the current situation. It could be worse.