Monday, 1 September 2008


I was shopping today in a large supermarket, and watching the other people as they walked around the shop.
I was thinking about my Second Life, full of dragons and dwarves, orcs and fairies, and wondering if any of the people passing me also had this kind of other identity.

We all look like fairly normal, everyday grown-ups, going about our grown up business. Planning dinner parties, packed lunches, picnics and midnight snacks, but some of us play 'childish' games as well.

When we are kids we play games pretty much non-stop, my children spend hours and hours in fantasy worlds of their own making, in make believe, and wild abandon. As we get older we are taught that its not appropriate to run down the street laughing, or dress up as a princess, wonderwoman or a tiger called Twinkletoes, or to make sandcastles and get muddy just for fun.
But do we really lose the urge to do these things?

Many of us seem now to turn to computers to give us the play we want, either on our PlayStation's, Xboxes, Wii's or in Second Life. This seems to be the acceptable face of adult playtime. Tucked away in our studies, or in front of the sitting room TV, private and hidden from disapproving stares.

But when I was a girl, I spent hours and hours playing beside the canal in Edinburgh. Riding my bike, making dens, catching newts in jam jars and staring at leeches with fascinated horror. I didn't really care what people thought of me, I was just so amazed and lost in everything.
I suspect many adults might sometimes like to do that now, but we just don't, because we might look silly and its not 'proper' for adults to behave that way.

Childishness is seen as weak, foolish and stupid.
I would rather look at it as innocent, inquisitive and fun.

When I am an old lady I hope I will still roll up my trousers and wade into rock pools looking for creatures.


Anonymous said...

Assuming that is the same canal, this is possibly the view you would have had if you had looked up from your leeches...

I think we all play games of different sorts. It just seems that we also pretend not to be playing them. So many people are involved in power games, political games etc. Maybe we just need to stop telling people that they SHOULD do such and such so much and just let them enjoy life and each other., Hobbit

Hobbit part 2 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hobbit once again said...

Oops. Feel free to delete that middle posting and I'll try again:

(copy into browser)