Yesterday I took my two Boys to play Lasertag, the wasted youth sport of walking really fast in a black light, dry ice covered maze while shooting the other person in their pack with your Laser. Lots of fun, and chance for the boys to show up their Old Man in a game of skill, daring and perhaps a little accuracy.
Ultrazone is a nice little Lasertag arena in one of our local Malls, and features an arcade so you can burn quarters while waiting for your games. It is here we hit upon the first fundamental problem, the boys had no idea how to operate an Arcade machine. Flummoxed because much of my youth was spent attached to various Arcade machines, (I became an Outrun specialist), I found myself explaining how to put quarters in and how to select two players, then how to play the games. It just felt very wrong on deep level.
Then after several quarter burning games we were off into the arena, and I was on the receiving end of much trash talking how they were both going to own me. How I’m going to spend the entire game deactivated because I am an Old Man and can’t keep up with them. Three games later both Boys, not only lost very badly to his Old Man, but this Old Man under the guise of Red 6 came 2nd, 1st and then 2nd again as the games VIP.
I then got talking to one of the other Fathers who was there with their Boys and was shocked to find that the highest scorers in all games were us, the Old Men (that is Yellow 9 & Red 10). We were all amazed that the Xbox generation couldn’t shoot straight, and it was suggested maybe they need the consoles autoaim features to do anything.
Are our children missing out on our fundamental wasted youth skills? Did our experiences of wasting days at the local arcade somehow give us a more practical skill set our children are fundamentally lacking? Do we have skills in a craft that is now doomed to die?
You would think two kids who if given the chance would attach themselves to the Xbox and never leave it would be able to at least shoot straight? Perhaps we should give our kids special goggles that simulate the Heads Up Display of a console game?
Giving their reaction speed and better hand eye coordination there is no way three Old Men should of got the scores that we did. Unless old age and treachery really does win out over youth and enthusiasm every time?
Me thinks the time to break out more Lego kits, the bat and the ball, and introduce themselves to a new reality game. V1.0 real sport and life, that doesn’t involve a rumble control and has real time forced feedback.
As fathers we have to get out there and give to our children our very own wasted youth skill sets before it is to late! Onwards…