Do our kids really need more encouragement to play electronic games?
I’d be one of the first to say “no.” Already, a multitude of screens are competing for our kids’ attention,
and the non-electronic world is being rendered increasingly pokey and
boring. A neighborhood stroll? Monopoly with Mom and Dad? Snooze. Sure,
there’s the Wii, and we have great fun playing together. But the fact
remains that we’re still all staring at the TV.
But we’ve stumbled onto one form of electronic gaming that feels very different: multiplayer games on the iPad. These games, played by two or more people on a single iPad, get us around the coffee table playing, laughing and talking. The experience is more like Game Night from the days of yore…we’re relaxed, companionable, and as aware of each other as we are the game. I’ve never experienced electronic gaming quite like it.
When sitting in the middle of the table, the iPad looks and feels very much like a game board, so it lends itself to all sorts of board game apps. Checkers ($1.99) and Scrabble ($9.99) are naturals on the iPad. It’s fun to “slide” the pieces around, although I miss the tactile experience and sound of handling the real thing. But, then, I’m not suggesting you replace your board games with an iPad! Just that it’s a fun way to involve the kids as they’re dying to get their hands on the device anyway.