A Great Game for Father-Son Bonding Time
Senior Digital Editor Samuel Mead is today’s guest blogger. He writes:
I guess I shouldn’t be shocked by the magical moment that is the before-school ritual of playing a deceptively challenging board game, Troy Extra Muros, with my third grade son before he rushes off to school (and me to work). After all, I love games, he loves games, and we both love playing them any time or any place.
At first, I didn’t think much of Troy—how fun or interesting could a game with a small playing area and 12 pieces be? But I was quickly proved wrong. My son, who had received the game as a birthday gift, explained the rules to me and we started to play at the kitchen counter. The game has never been put away.
Perhaps it’s watching him solve a particularly tough set-up that I am stuck on—Troy is a strategy game where you must solve 60 progressively more challenging game board situations using four sections of walls to protect blue forces from red forces. Or maybe it’s the quiet that accompanies minds at work. While playing, my son exhibits a patience that’s absent when he’s playing a video strategy game. There is no frenetic pace, no pumping of buttons, just the shuffling of combinations of pieces to see what will solve the problem.
One thing is for sure, it’s a blessedly peaceful part of the morning. Our middle schooler is long out the door to catch her bus, lunches made, breakfast consumed. It’s that 20-minute window when I could be plowing through bills, answering emails, or surfing the web. Instead, I’m on cloud 9, watching my son play a game that’s as challenging for him as it is for me.
I know this is a fleeting moment. We’ve been playing for 10 days and are through challenge #53. Troy must soon fall! Then again, perhaps more is going on than just the playing of a game, a ritual that we both value. So when #60 has been successfully completed, we will seek out a new challenge, or just return to challenge #1.
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