Saturday, July 9, 2011

Games then, Gizmos now

Just the other day, I was cleaning up the attic when I found my dog-eared 'Scrabble' game of wordbuilding and my cherished 'Monopoly' game of business and trade . I was delighted and when I started to explain the game to my kids aged seven & six , laughed and cockily sneered and said "what lousy games "!
           I remembered the days when I was of that age and my grandfather gave me a lot of empty medicine cartons and plastic bottles - these things would be transformed into lovely multistoried buildings . The carrom board was part and parcel of every household & in those rainy Sunday afternoons the family of four would be divided into teams & coins pocketed with such ease and I ultimately became the youngest champ at school and in our club.
           The lovely marbles of all sizes and hues , had each one of us boasting the number collected.There was also the typical game for the girls - hopping on different squares on one leg.The Ludo, Snake & ladder and Chinese checkers had its own charm. There was also the occasional card game!
            When my dad bought us a mechanic set, our joy knew no bounds ,for it was the first of its kind we had ever laid our hands on. Playing hide & seek or climbing trees came naturally to us as there ample space around our house!
            Now , the first toys that my kids got from their dad was an yellow car having a small dish like antenna on top , battery operated - the kids at the age of one & two know how to put the positive and negative ends of the terminal !This hitech car started with a clap , reverse automatically and again pause for further commands!
            The first building lessons my boys learnt were not from empty cardboard boxes but from pre-fabricated plastic pieces which can be attached and dismantled to form any size or shape.
             A couple of years down the line,their tiny hands are on the joystick and fingers clicking the mouse of a computer - be it a matching game or shooting down the enemies from a rooftop of a skyrise! The touch screen logical reasoning Q & A game is really mind boggling and technology has reached great heights indeed!
             Apart from the hitech gizmos at hand there are the umpteen number of games like the bowling pins , the mini snooker table , the readymade indoor basketball game which are suited for homes with no space whatsoever! The innumerable video games comprising of  zippy races, soccer, tennis, cricket all give wonderful insight into the nuances of the game which the children pick up at a very tender age but on the flip side- a bad eyesight and couch potato syndrome!
             One can just go on marvelling and drooling over the rapid development of science but Iam  sure a child today is missing the glory of building a sand castle on the lovely beaches - for we wouldn't allow those small clean hands to touch the mud dirtied by paan spits and garbage or climbing a tree , as there is never a tree to climb !!!
                                                                            SUNITA SRIRAM     


  1. True, time has changed a lot and now kids are habituated with high-end games from their childhood. But, scrabble is still very much popular, I son loved to play it... :-)

  2. I agree. It's all beep beep for the kids now. And I worry myself to death thinking what they are losing out in not reading a Champak or a Chandamama or a Tintin or for that matter not living the sheer joy of playing Scrabble.

    Very thought provoking article Sunita.


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