Here is an excerpt from an upcoming interview with the guys from The Spiel. It struck a note with me so I thought I would pull it out so that we could spend some time on it.
I asked Stephen about his most memorable gaming moment. He answers:
Stephen: I grew up in a family that loved games. Some of my earliest and most fond memories are of my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and my parents laughing and playing cards until all hours of the night. In rural Indiana, where Euchre is King, it was considered a rite of passage for my grandfather to sit down and teach me the rules and take me on as his “apprentice” partner. For my Romanian grandparents on the other side of my family, their game was Pinochle. The day I was allowed to join the adults and play Pinochle, I knew I had found my new home: the game table.
This resounded with me. Here is my response.
Tom: This story is so familiar now. Almost everyone interviewed has a similar experience. Their gaming started as children. I’m no different. I can remember playing Uncle Wiggly when I was in first grade with my sister. And playing cards, Catch The Five specifically, with my grandmother and her friends and my cousins. I believe gaming in childhood definitely leads to a lifetime of gaming. You talked about gaming’s social interactions and that touching us on a fundamental level. This has been echoed by other guests. I believe that this is what bonds us to gaming. Gaming can teach us how to behave and interact with each other in civil and productive ways. The rules of a game control the interactions of the players. Or at least confine these interactions in a certain way. They allow us to engage with each other without having to deal with discovering ‘the rules’ of the interaction. They enable us to bypass those rules or delay them. We are able to learn them with a layer of protection, the game, so to speak. Games can enable us to learn how to be social creatures. When you ask most gamers why they play games, usually the first thing they say has to do with the social aspects of gaming – being with like-minded people, hanging out with friends, meeting new people. This is a valuable lesson as we must interact with people every day. It is one that kids use all the time. It’s called ‘Play’.
So, what do you think? Let’s get a discussion going. Leave a comment.