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.

7 comments:

  1. Holy sheep and bricks Batman! That is fun that you played with a different species. I'm sure it was very interesting. Jake likes to "baaaa" very obnoxiously each time he gets sheep in the game, and then he gets punched by me. But that's about as crazy as it gets.

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  2. I LOVE Catan, and I dare say that our playing the game sound similar, minus the flatulence, and laughter connected with it. Such a fun game. We have thought about doing a tournament in this ward. It is very fun. Very fun post. Well written, I might add.

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  3. It is very fun to see the differences in boys and girls. I am enjoying my teenage girls. I hope I enjoy my teenage boys as well. This was a pretty funny post.

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  4. What a fun memory you've given to your boys. You are such a fun mom. That would have been a fun game just to watch all of you -- minus the smell.

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  5. Ha! That sounds like a very funny game! I'm glad you got to have a great time with your boys, even if flatulence had to be involved!:)

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  6. I love Settlers! It's one of the only games Michael will play with me. Glad you had fun playing with your boys.

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  7. Oh does this post bring back memories of game-playing with my brothers when they were all still at home. :D The games almost always turned into some version of "Calvin-ball." :)

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Thank you for sharing your insights!