Date: Fri, 27 May 1994 15:50:04 CDT
From: Mike Picone MPICONE[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UA1VM.BITNET
Subject: games kids play
It dawned on me during this discussion of games kids play that the
social context of a lot of this might be quite special and culture
dependent, even though when I was in the midst of it, this possibility
never crossed my mind. What I mean is that I remember spending seemingly
endless quantities of hours totally unsupervised by adults, roaming the
neighborhood until dark (and later sometimes), networking with an
extensive `parallel' society of kids that would organize itself for the
purpose of all sorts of contests, games and other activities of our own
invention. I don't see my own kids here in our present Alabama context
doing anything on this same scale. Certainly part of it has to do with
the urban environment I grew up in. The number of kids available
within a certain radius must be sufficient to hit critical mass and
permit this kind of thing. But there's more to it than that. For one
thing, `networking' may be more peculiarly American than we know. The
French typically have more restricted circles of friends, and I think
this is reflected even at an early age. I did not see activity of a
similar type and scale among French kids in urban areas of France.
But that isn't all.
Parents today, including me, are paranoid of letting kids have that much
lattitude. I think it is true that we are living in less innocent times.
This is regrettable. My memories of that freedom are fond and may well
have been very formative.
Do other people have notions about this?
University of Alabama