Friday, 22 July 2016

"What is Pokeman?"

the Senior Cat asked. He was reading the paper and there was a report of someone breaking an arm playing the "game".
"It's a computer game," I told him.
He looked even more puzzled so I added, "Only this time you are supposed to go  out and "catch" things."
That is also about the limit of my knowledge. I am not terribly interested. I have never played a computer game. I have watched my nephews - when young - play some. I have watched the Whirlwind - but she gave up on them after a couple of years. I have seen other children with them.
When I was at law school I lived in a student hall of residence where I also tutored other students. There were several "game" machines - the forerunner to the present computer games I suppose. From memory you put money in a slot and then proceeded to try and race around a track passing other racing cars or "killed" aliens or something of a similar nature. 
These machines were available twenty-four hours a day and they had sound effects. The newMaster of the college tried, without success, to get the students to leave them alone between midnight and six am. There were still students who wanted to play with them at two and three in the morning.  
I suppose it was all part of growing up. Most of the students were living away from home for the first time in their lives. I was one of the go-to people for advice about everything from how to cite a reference to how to wash socks. Once in a while I would try and gently suggest that someone who had not finished an essay on time might actually write the essay instead of playing one of the games. These students were always males. Very few females played these games on a regular basis.  I don't know if they ever played them night after night. I doubt it.
The prevalence of these games seems to have exploded with the 
 advent of personal screen based devices. It seems as the devices get smaller and more powerful then more people, of both sexes, are playing them. It is an attraction I simply don't understand. 
I asked the Whirlwind what she thought of them the other day. She was silent for a bit and then said,
      "I suppose if you have to do it with other people it could be okay for a little while but I'd rather really DO something."
I don't imagine she will be trying to get into a police station to catch something, walking off the edge of a cliff while watching the screen, or falling out of a tree because there is "something" there.
The Senior Cat didn't follow my explanation at all. He just shrugged and went on to read something else. He would rather "do" something too. 
But I had to smile because last night I asked him, "Do you want toast or cheesies with your soup?" His answer was, "Okay." He was looking at a (woodworking) video on his I-pad.

1 comment:

Adelaide Dupont said...

I remember arcade games very well, especially one time in Daylesford when I played Pacman in its original form. [1994 not 1984].

Have been explaining to various family members and sundry what PokemonGo is.

It's a follow-on from Ingress which got the whole massively multiplayer online map of locations.

Pokemon - pocket monsters.

Now what the Senior Cat comes up with in his workshop...

And I would end up writing essays in my head while playing games. I wonder if that is what the student was doing too.

There are lots of casual games like Candy Crush and my own favourites - the Papa Louie series. You might make a taco or a hot dog or pancakes.

"I suppose if you have to do it with other people"... said the Whirliwind...

the iPad is just perfect for these videos and especially sharing them. Now I wish to get onto my skates...