Playing in the Dirt

I have been gaming since I was in seventh grade. I’ve played everything from Dark Tower to Toon, and still have a copy of Melee the microgame I purchased new. I love to play games and I always have. For all of gaming experience, when it comes to sheer playing skill, I must bow to a superior master, my three year-old son, Benjamin. My son can play anywhere, anytime, with anything. He is a professor of fun and I have much to learn from him.

dirt.JPGMy son is made entirely of love and mirth as far as I can tell. If you give him a hose and some dirt, then he is in heaven. There is something so primal and basic about playing in the mud. It demonstrates a connection with nature and self that I have lost long ago.

Ben doesn’t need a gameboard or rules. Fun is tangible for him. He can pluck it out of a cloud, like a magic marshmallow. He is at one moment a super-hero, and then a robot ninja soon after. He morphs without regard for form, rules, or style. He just plays.

I have made a promise to myself that I will not squelch this ability of his, but rather encourage it. I never want him to be where I now find myself, trying to reconnect to a wellspring of joy that I cannot ever recall dipping into.

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