When we made our own entertainment…
It amazes me, the sheer breadth of entertainment at a 21st century child’s fingertips. They literally have everything at the touch of a button.
Yeah, this is one of THOSE posts, harking back to a simpler time.
Cue music from the Hovis ad…
Of my two boys the Wunderkind is the most technically focused. He is Digital Boy. The line between human organism and PS3 is blurred. Witness him “networking” with his like-minded friends, earpiece lodged in ear, issuing orders to advance on a legion of murderous zombies. This is the same boy who once played with Enjy Benjy toys?
If he isn’t doing that he’s watching Diary of a Bad Man on Youtube or playing the charmingly lo-fi Minecraft. All the while, his TV is tuned into Simpsons or Family Guy. He’s currently just outside the top ten carbon footprint rankings, ahead of Denmark. We’re so proud.
His brother, Moppet, is getting the same way. Tonight when I was shaking my head ruefully (as parents do) at some online game he was playing, I told him, “we didn’t have any of that stuff when we were kids. No computers, no games consoles.”
He replied with genuine incredulity in his voice, “how did you survive?” I then had to convince him we had colour TV back then. Jeez…
But what did entertain me when I was a boy? Good question. Thinking back, I was a bit of a sponge. I liked learning stuff. Yeah I had Action Man and Ker-Plunk and Top Trumps. But you want to know what fascinated me when I was a kid? It was this… (click it and it grows)
I was entranced by this map when I was a kid (okay not THIS one, the late 70s/early 80s equivalent). The colours, the lines, the names. I had no idea of the physical geography relative to it, but then that was the point of the innovative design by Harry Beck. Other than going to the library, or to London I suppose, I would never know the detail behind Cockfosters, Stanmore or Chalk Farm.
And yet, it intrigued me. Isn’t that so weird?
I remembered too I was also a car registration anorak, and had a book which deciphered what the old car registrations meant (second and third letters divulging town of registration).
With this cornucopia of fun to hand, who needs friends? It’s a wonder games consoles ever got a look in…
So everyone of the pre-technical generation, what did you occupy yourself with when you were a kid? Were you a book worm? Did you have a thing for bird- or trainspotting? Dolls, horses, hoop-and-stick?