Monday, January 31, 2011

Ready or not...

Sometimes I really miss the games I used to play when I was a kid. I grew up in a house with a huge front yard, complete with a perfectly manicured lawn lined by a rock wall, and a good sized patch of forest surrounding the house on three sides. I was lucky enough to live close by a couple families with kids roughly the same ages as me and my siblings, and since dial-up and DOS games just didn't cut it for entertainment most afternoons after school or during summer break, the neighbor kids would come over and we'd play outside.

As a kid I was shrimpy but fast, so I was definitely a fan of any game where speed over brawn was necessary to win. Tag, freeze tag, TV tag, toilet tag (don't was way fun), Fire in the Jungle...any game I could use to lord my superior running abilities over the rest of the people playing, I was in. Games of stealth and trickery were no different: hide 'n seek, sardines, kick the can, capture the flag, or even just a good squirt gun fight all topped my list too.

P.E. in elementary school and junior high was just as fun. Even though I couldn't throw a red rubber ball to save my life, I soon proved to be nearly impossible to hit, and I vividly remember games of Elimination where I'd be sprinting laps around the gym while balls and muffled curses thudded into the walls right behind me. At my elementary school, once a year, they'd set the gym up like an obstacle course, stick empty pop cans on all the obstacles, turn the lights off, and have you crawl around the course trying not to make any noise lest they nail you with the start-over spotlight. And don't even get me started on Field Day. Best damn day of the entire school year.

Why did we ever stop playing those games? All the games we grew into as adults are governed by so many rules. As kids, breaking the rules of the game or adapting them on the fly usually wound up being the fun part, but as adults, breaking the rules destroys the fun and starts the shouting matches. No one ever gets together just to play a game of freeze tag anymore, and the people that do see it as a novelty, not a normality.

Right now, I'm sitting at my desk finishing out my day at work before heading to a pub for some catch-up time with a friend followed by listening to some lectures for grad school and probably going to bed early. But sometimes, especially on days full of adult-ness like this one, I kinda wish I could be playing hide and seek instead.

1 comment:

  1. Dude. Why do you think I play frisbee? ;) Just last night I was explaining to a british friend how amazing it was living in a wellness dorm and where a 'crazy night out' involved huge amounts of sugar and getting kicked out of the local playground by the police.
    When I head back to the states and move into your closet we can play hide and seek as much as you want :)