"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen all at once."
I guess it isn’t news to anyone that we live in a fast-paced, high-tech world that only seems to get faster with time.
Yesterday, I read an article about a mother who admits to cheating at Candy Land and Disney Monopoly with her daughter so the games will be over faster. And apparently, she’s not the only one.
Hasbro has announced it will release a “streamlined” version of the game of Life that includes a Visa card rather than cash and a “LifePod” that keeps track of points so players don’t have to. They’re also creating “Express” games: Scrabble Express, Monopoly Express, and Sorry Express, so players can have a “quick resolution” to the games.
Have we really gotten to the point where we have to rush through the very activities that are supposed to make up our leisure time? Why? Where are we off to? Why are we rushing through games, for God’s sake?
Is it because no one has the attention span to devote to an activity that lasts longer than ten minutes? Or no one has the free time?
I’m all for convenience: I like drive-through banking, and I’ll pick up a pre-cooked meal for dinner sometimes. I have an automatic hot drink maker that brews a latte in under a minute, and I don’t know what I’d do if I had to go back to a dial-up Internet connection.
But games? Really? Isn’t there a point where we should slow down? Isn’t there still pleasure in devoting the time to creating or enjoying the languorous unfolding of something?
Because honestly, we Americans move faster through life than any other citizens in this world, and yet I wouldn’t say we’re much happier (or wealthier or healthier) than people in many other countries.
Plus, if we’re raising children who don’t have the time or attention to focus on a complete board game that might last up to 30 minutes or more, than why on earth would we expect them to sit down and read for an hour? Why would we expect them, when they become middle and high schoolers, to devote multiple hours each week to learning schoolwork? And why, then, are we surprised when American children fall behind on test scores and suffer from an inability to master knowledge that, sometimes, requires more than an “express” memorization of facts?
What do you think? Have we become too fast-paced as a society? Would you be able to sit through an entire game of original Scrabble or Monopoly, even if it lasted over an hour? Are you able to enjoy a leisure activity without looking at the clock or thinking about what you’re going to do next?
Or is that kind of lifestyle something we’ve lost?