Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Do joysticks bring joy?

A coworker and I were talking about Christmas shopping the other day. He mentioned that he and his wife were still somewhat conflicted over whether they should buy the latest and greatest video game system for their kids. It would be a couple hundred dollars, at least, and would it be worth it?

It reminded me of the "family gifts" that Santa used to bring. I seem to remember them as board games or a video. Maybe some tin cans tied together with string.

Okay! So maybe I'm embellishing slightly, but the point is, you didn't have to spend hundreds of dollars to find something everyone could enjoy. I wondered what I would do if I were in his position.

It's not unreasonable for his kids to want the same game system that everyone in their school has. But it's also not unreasonable to think that it's too much money to spend on one thing. Plus, I have a hard time getting past the feeling that it might actually make for less quality family time and more time spent alone with the TV screen, or with friends. Not family.

Am I crazy for thinking like that? Do I sound like a technophobe? I'm sure my kids will hate me when I surprise them with tin cans tied together with string.

1 comment:

cat said...

You HAVE to have the same system as all of the other kids. Everyone in my school had Atari or Colecovision. (Uh, in 1981. Ahem.) We had Intellivision. While Intellivision is the far superior game system, we couldn't play Pac-Man or the Smurfs. Try to explain that one to your friends. And, the controllers didn't come with joysticks. That did not bring us much joy. We had to buy these aftermarket joysticks that didn't really work right. Sigh. That must be why I don't play video games much. (Or ever.)

And yes, your kids will hate you. Tin cans? and string? That's a disaster waiting to happen. Protective services will take your kids when they tell their friends about how they bloodied their hands on the sharp edges of the cans and strangled themselves with string. < /mockery of overprotective parents>.