Monday, June 04, 2018

The Old Ways Are New Again

Star Trek: Ascendancy - a new, old-school game.
Several millennial family members are late-arriving fans of table games. Your humble blogger--an avid game-player (e.g., bridge, chess, Scrabble, cribbage, mahjong) in his youth because, if truth be told, there were no electronic options---responds favorably to invitations to join in.

There are health advantages--socializing can ward off dementia and handling cards or game pieces maintains fine-motor dexterity--but more importantly it's an in-person way of spending time with family and friends. Also, as the Wall Street Journal advises, it's a way for seniors to have fun.
older adults have more time to have fun—7½ hours of leisure a day compared with 35-to-44-year-olds, who have only around 4 hours, according to a 2016 study by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave...

many adults forget how to have fun. They’ve spent the past 40 years showing up for work every day, paying off mortgages, getting kids through school and taking care of aging parents. Having fun and being spontaneous —a key element of fun and play—gets lost. It’s considered nonproductive, which makes some people feel guilty.

Fun is important at every age but can be even more beneficial as we grow older. The very things associated with it—laughter, levity, enjoyment, diversion—can act as antidotes to stress, depression, and anxiety. It often involves being with others, and social connections are linked to better cognitive health in later life and lower likelihood of developing dementia.
In Star Trek: Ascendancy, however, I may have bitten off more than I could chew. ST:A has instructions that are more voluminous than Monopoly, bridge, or chess. (A well-designed game, IMHO, has simple rules but may take years to master; a good example is Texas Hold'em.) The seemingly arbitrary rules reminded me of "Fizzbin", a game discussed by Captain Kirk in a 1968 Star Trek episode.

The millennials had blank looks when I mentioned Fizzbin, so it was time to pass on this important cultural reference to the next generation. Take that, Angry Birds.

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