Friday, July 20, 2007

Sad really

Family Gaming
Its sad, but this comic is probably all too true. I hope not. I love video games, and I think they scratch a certain itch for me. Boardgames scratch a different one. I hope that as I raise my children, they aren't sucked into the digital age such that they think the only fun thing to do is play video games. Its really too bad that children in this country only think playing games means video games. That a "game store" means EB, Game Stop, or whatever place buys and trades games that come on CDs and DVDs. It doesn't help that the mainstream toy industry here doesn't even bother trying to put out new games. The shelves now days have about 5 games in different themes. Looking at the game shelves at Target and you'll see: 5 different Risk games - Transformers, normal Risk, Bookshelf Risk, LOTR Risk, Starwars Risk; Operation - Shrek, Spiderman, classic. Candyland - classic and Dora the Explorer. Sorry, some laser game like Khet, maybe Hi Ho Cherry-o, Trouble, Battleship, yahtzee, some trivia game and possibly a 6-in-1 set with checkers, chess, backgammon, etc. When I was growing up, I remember loads of Parker Brothers, MB, Hasbro, etc games lining the shelves. I don't think they were all that great - like everything else in the US, its thrown out the door with a bit of marketing. Yes, there used to be tv ads for boardgames. I remember seeing adds for Bermuda Triangle and wanting that game very badly.

I have no real expectation that boardgames will become mass market like that again. The sad reality is that video games make a lot of money. A lot. Parents these days want their kids to get up and do something instead of sitting in front of the TV, not find a replacement for their kids sitting around. Unfortunately I think this stems from the lack of family commitment. If parents truly wanted to bring their family together, they'd find time for a family activity where the family actually interacted together. Parents just need to stop thinking about "their" time and thinking in terms of family time.


Jaybird said...

Funny thing--I just got back from shipping my Xbox 360 out, receiving 3 large games plus a load of cash (which will probably just go into boardgames). And I feel free. What an industry video games are. There is near zero collectability for today's consoles or games--just plunk down a ton of cash, play your games for 3 months (if you are lucky) get bored, and watch that $60 deteriorate. Boardgames on the other hand, are tremendously rewarding, they hold their value, and there is something that I love about being in a (somewhat) obscure hobby. I tell everyone who will listen that boardgames are the richest form of entertainment.

Red October said...

here, here. i too shipped off the 360 a couple of weeks ago to dump into boardgames and i'm not looking back. it brings so much more fellowship and exercises the brain. i've even picked up a kids' game or two to start collecting for Finn.

Jaybird said...

By kid games, Justin means anything Barbie or Dora or Barney, and those are actually his games of choice when he is not around real "gamers". He's been known to sit down and play that Slumber Party game solo, "just to learn the rules".