February 13, 2011

You know, our lives are inundated with time-consuming, addictive pleasures, that take away from the stuff that needs to be done. Well, ‘…needs to be done…’ is a subjective statement, of course. What one may consider something that ‘…needs to be done…’ is someone else’s ‘…can wait until another time…’!! Haha.

Some of these things are self-afflicted, that is, WE create them ourselves. Others are just a product of our society moving on.

When you look back (for those of us old enough), what was time-consuming when we were kids? Playing, school homework, helping mom wax the floors on a sunny Saturday, playing Monopoly with your siblings… Now, we have things like the internet, Facebook, video games, blogs, cell phones, to mention a few.

During the summer last year, I had a bit of free time due to classes being suspended for the summer. That was when I started getting really involved with my blog, writing in Facebook, and playing the numerous games. At the end of the evening, I watched a bit too much T.V., and ended purchasing a 42″ flatscreen. I love that television!

However, after returning from my trip back home, I had to get back into doing my work. A lot of the games on Facebook suddenly came to a screeching halt, my blog suffered, and to put it bluntly, I just had other more important things to take care of.

During Chinese New Year, having had 6 days off from ALL classes, I had the opportunity or ‘desire’ to kind of get back into the Facebook stuff again. Also, get back to writing in my blog.

Quite honestly, now that I’m back to writing the blog, after a 5 month hiatus, it feels good to write again. Maybe not everything I write about is read by anyone, but the fact that I am writing again makes me feel a bit better. However, it is time-consuming, is a bit addictive, and yet enjoyable at the same time.

I’ve also given up on FarmVille and FrontierVille on Facebook. When I was home in September, my parents got me into FrontierVille. But, that just got to be quite boring. Most of the other games became mundane and boring as well.

However, now I’ve been introduced to CityVille. This is yet another one of those games that takes time, and patience… two things I don’t really have a great reserve of!

I think a lot of it has to do with my computer. My laptop is not or was not intended to play games. I made sure when I purchased it, that it set up more for business purposes – sure, a bit of internet, email, etc., but not for playing games. A lot of these Facebook games takes a lot of time to load, and all the moving ‘things’ on the screen… my computer just can’t handle it too well.

It could also be that these games, when I start to play them, are the Beta versions. I have noticed that now that Treasure Madness is no longer a ‘Beta’ version, I can do more with it than I could in months past.

Perhaps it’s just me, but even though some of these games seem like fun at first, they do tend to loose their appeal. Always having to go to my classes, or do my lesson planning, some of the tasks that need to be done on these games doesn’t get done.

I asked some of the children in my classes what they did over the Chinese New Year holiday. Surprising (or not!), many of them mentioned about how much time they spent playing games on the computer. I asked a couple of classes to write 100-word essays about their holiday. It was very interesting to see that a lot these kids who play video games, were actually playing games on Facebook!

Computers and cell phones (iPhones, iPhone wannabes – those with game apps) have really taken over our lives. When I was a kid, playing Monopoly or Clue or even card games, were the norm. I remember at one point, my two brothers and I playing a game of Monopoly for quite some time. We would play together, borrow from the bank, and at the conclusion of the ‘play time’, push the board under one of our beds, only to bring it back out the next night, and continue playing.

Now, you justs pause the game, or finish all your ‘energy’, shut it down, and continue the next time you log on. I try to imagine at times what my parents, or grandparents, or even great-grandparents used to do for fun as children. There was no such thing as a cell phone or a computer, or in some cases, no T.V. To think of life without these items now, is almost inconceivable.

Children born today won’t even understand the concept of no computer, no video games, no cell phones. And what will their children or their grandchildren or great-grandchildren do in the future for fun? Will they look back at these times as foreign, unbelievable times?

It will be interesting to see things in 100 years (I hope) and see what keeps the future generations occupied.

That’s it, that’s all … for now!


1 Comment

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One response to “February 13, 2011

  1. Sandra

    How true Bill. The appeal of these games now for my kids is the continuation. As well they can play with their friends on line and trade, see their sites and send gifts. It is part of being so globally connected I think. But their is a price; they r lazy and get distracted easily and do not want to do homework. Instead I am responding to 3 times the requests for the DS, computer and Wii all day long. I am such a pushover I let them play. Times were easier I think when kids had no choice but to go outside, knock on someones door and play with them. I do have a question?? Some of the games my kids play are obviously intended for younger players. Facebook does have an age limit (we all know how to fudge this) but specific things, PetVille for one, are clearly marketed to younger, not Facebook aged, players. Any Comments?

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