Sunday, February 17, 2008
Just Another Country? or a Whole Other Planet?
You may or may not be aware of this simple fact: Playing games with teenage boys is different than playing with women. Or kids. Or a mixed group of adults. Or any other group that you can think of. It is like a whole other place. I visited that place tonight and returned home to tell the tale. The location was the barren wilderness of a place called Catan. My fellow Settlers were my two sons and a nephew aged 14-18. I was surprised to be invited, but they needed a full complement of Imperialistic Opportunists. The testosterone level was high. The flatulence meter was off the scale. The giggling over the flatulence was even further off the scale. These are boys who don't use profanity of any kind except the made-up kind, which turns profanity from something to engender distaste to something so hilarious as to be surreal. The only f word I heard was flip. The s word was stinking or schniggin. I heard "holy" as a prefix for so many odd things I thought I might be in an old episode of Batman and Robin ("Holy Goats and Chickens!") The competitive edge and will to win at all costs was interesting to observe. I've heard this game praised because it is about cooperation and interdependence. I didn't see it. I mostly saw plain old imperialism played out between fits of silliness mixed with teenage bravado. I felt a bit like a visiting scientist in a foreign country: the basic things were the same, but the culture couldn't have been more different. I'm grateful I got to be an exchange student tonight.
Posted by Kellie on Sunday, February 17, 2008