Being a sometime grouser around videogames, I was rankled when my husband launched Angry Birds™ on our 55-inch TV from Roku® during a Father’s Day visit by our children and grandchildren.
Couldn’t we pursue a more desirable activity together? I wondered silently.
But forbearance was called for; it was, after all, Father’s Day.
My stepson began earning points for destroying thieving pigs. Everyone huddled around the sofa, and good-natured ribbing ensued. We shared strategy and silliness. We talked about the game play while the little ones hopped around simulating the action, wildly gesticulating in response to threats and successes. We laughed a lot. To my chagrin, we were sharing quality time together, making a memory. Father did know best.
Yet, it wasn’t all furious fowl. My party planning earlier in the day had included laying out novelty toys that might catch the eye of a youngster: whirly-wheel, slinky, returning ball, stretchy string, jointed toys. These objects of diversion contrived to create on my grandchildren’s inquiring faces momentary furled eyebrows, followed by looks of “aha!” and then wondering smiles. I enjoyed watching these microcosms of individual fun in the midst of the group activity. A mesh, jointed and beaded aluminum toy became a “real live squid” in an instant.
I have read that people are no longer content with being passively entertained. Video games are popular because they are more dynamic than watching television. Add to the mix Slinky physics and imaginary squid and there’s no reason why a game of Angry Birds can’t be fun for everyone. Even me. While the birds may not have been laughing, we most certainly did.
In hindsight, it was a perfectly wholesome evening. What a pleasant surprise.
Photo Nick Chill via Compfight