I am in a public place watching several kids play on their smartphones. They haven’t blinked in over an hour. Or moved. Someone better get these kids some urinary catheters.
I’ll admit right off the bat that when we were kids we were not half as “hip” as today’s children. These kids are smart. They have cutting-edge phones, earbuds, skinny jeans, light-up shoes, and unique body piercings. Compared to these modern children we were complete dorks.
Do you know what my uncool friends did for fun? Our mothers made us pick wild strawberries. That’s right. Strawberries. These hip kids are going to laugh us right into the nursing home one day.
Certainly, video games existed during my youth, but my people didn’t have them. And don’t get me wrong, I would have killed for a video game. But it was a pipe dream. Back then, if you had a video game console, this meant that you wore silk undies and a man named Wadsworth turned your bed down each night.
time I ever saw a video game was at Michael Ray’s house. His father was an importer, his mother was a competitive horse jumper and Junior League vice president.
The video game was Pong. It was a blank television screen with a singular dot drifting from left to right between ping-pong paddles. This dot traveled about as fast as it took to complete law school. Every kid within three counties traveled hundreds of miles just to see this dot.
My father forbid me from playing video games. He once told me plainly, “Son, if you play video games your brain will melt.” And he didn’t say it like he was joking.
Looking back, I’m sure my father got a great laugh out of this, but I sincerely believed him. For years I thought that video games would cause brain matter to leak out my ears. So I never…