It was a post we read on Twitter by @rourou in regard to arcades, you know those places the older generation used to go for some old fashioned gaming fun and now the younger generation go to launch space shuttles, (Well that what it looks like to those of an older generation.) We started thinking, (Which is what we do best!), about the fact that in the modern age the advent of super duper home gaming consoles attached to this faceless giant known as the Internet, plus the evil of the smartphone, well for us it seems to have killed that family trip out to the amusements.
Here though is the worse thing, the modern day move towards the complex computer-generated games, with the addition these days of things like VR, (So now they can’t even see their parents in the house!), for us creates a division between children and their parents. It is not enough that there are other things that keep the family unit apart but now the kids will sit and play with their consoles oblivious to anyone else in the home. Most will simply disappear in to their room forgetting there are other people in the same house, yet alone real people in the world outside either. The idea of a family games night with others in the same house is now as foreign as a fish on the moon.
Within the house, this may be an environment were perhaps you simply cannot create a family games night around those old classic board games, or cards, (Playing cards, you know remember them?). With the lure of that connected world of technology they crave just a room or two away creates an almost unbreakable bond stronger that they feel towards their own parents, brothers and sisters?
For us anything that promotes this vital relationship between family members should be encouraged. We look at this from the family aspect in that when you go to out of the home to the amusements there should be those games that parents can play with their kids, do something fun together that is out of the normal hum drum technical divide of the home. Something that can encourage them to have an occasional few hours of having fun as a family together.
You know the games we are talking about here, Air Hockey, where you smash the puck across a cushion of air, simple yet such great fun that both the younger and older generations can do. Many amusements of course are on a coastal town somewhere and near that other great classic Crazy Golf again does not require a degree in computer science to create fun between generations.
Do not get us wrong, kids need to be technically savvy with the world around them as it is how the whole thing functions, they need to be able to use it as though it is second nature. If not, they will struggle in their world. But this should not be at the expense of relationships. But this can be all that technology that they have in the home that keeps them almost invisible to parents.
We would like to see the return of the proper family amusements to generate a family day out that can be shared, that can help bond generations together, (This can include Granny and Grandad to of course!), but this won’t work with these places filling up with NASA like games. Where just knowing what the object of the game is needs an Astrophysics degree. No for us They should be the simple games, as we have mentioned before, Air Hockey, Whack the Mole, (Who remembers that), or things like Crazy Golf. Sure, have the technology games but make them simple so that the older ones understand what to do, Dance Mat or multi Car Racing Simulators, Games that everyone in the family can play together.
This though is also hugely compounded by the fact that these places need to take a shed load of money to survive, for them the small single person electronic games are great money spinners. Trouble is they eat through a family day budget in half an hour. The great outdoor fun games, (Obviously affected by the weather), require a lot of real estate to build and maintenance can be high.
This is maybe the nail in the coffin for a family day out at such places? The cost involved in having the kind of games that the family can actually play together has become cost prohibitive? But in todays technological society are these not something that has become essential as a means to try and keep the concept of family bonds alive, rather than allow technology create a damaging wedge?
(C) Harlin & Lamo The Lion 2018