Monday, May 23, 2005

When Children Play

I have two sons, Eitan and Saarya. Eitan is the rebel, and pretty much doesn't like to do anything, but he always loves violent but strategic computer games (Red Alert, Caeser, etc...).

Saarya is the consonant gamer who likes all types of games, like me. Our tastes differ, but no more than any other two gamers. He doesn't play Bridge or Magic, and doesn't like Puerto Rico too much, but he loves Goa, Prince of Florence, El Grande, etc... Saarya has been a regular at the game club.

Saarya and Eitan share a room, but almost never talk. Yes, they both play computer games, but they are otherwise very different. Saarya is the quiet one who does all of his homework at the beginning of the year. Eitan also does well in school, but does as little homework (and school) as possible.

Recently, I was contacted by an ASL player in Jerusalem who heard about the group, and even though ASL isn't my thing, I put him in touch with Eitan. Now the two of them come to the game group just to play ASL with each other, which is good.

I had bought Battle Cry to play with Eitan, before the ASL player came along, because I wanted to engage Eitan in some game, and I was hoping we could at least play this.

Last night we found that it is a good middle ground for Saarya and Eitan to meet. While I was helping my daughter with a project, both of them came to me bored, and I sent them to play Battle Cry with each other. You would think they would have played together at some other point in the last eight years they have been living together, but it has never happened.

So they played Battle Cry, and from what I hear, they had a close, enjoyable game. Saarya was up 5 to 4 flags at one point, but Eitan managed to get the last two he needed before the game ended. I hope they continue to play together, as this would be a good contact point for both of them. Good for Eitan to have something to do other than hang out in the center of town. Good for Saarya to have someone else to play with.



Iain said...

How old are they? I'm looking forward to playing games with my boy.

Yehuda said...

Eitan is 15 and Saarya is 14.

We all played Settlers of Catan together when I first got it about seven years ago. As I moved on to new games, they all developed their own relation to games. Ariella (now 16) stopped playing because she was busy. Eitan stopped playing because my games weren't violent enough. Saarya always played. Tal (now 12) has both a difficult time with some games, and a deceptively keen sense with others, but prefers the simpler social party games, like Uno.


Chris Brooks said...

That's great. You might have similar success with Heroscape and Memoir '44. If you want something a little bit more strategic but still on the lighter side, consider Axis & Allies D-Day.

Yehuda said...

My price range for games is about 5 EUR. Plus I have to find a way to get them to Israel. I'm going through a number of lean years, and will be for a while.

I think he is facinated with complexity, and is looking forward to delving further into ASL. He can borrow Ran's rulebook to learn it. And if he saves up his own money, he can buy some of it, if he needs to.