I think at the ripe age of 29, I’ve officially achieved the “Old Coot” title.
If you’ve read my “The Players” page you might recall that I do some volunteering with a kid. It’s grand. Mostly. But he’s 14 now. And every week when I hang out with him I feel like more and more of an old man.
Him: “Have you heard this song?”
Him: “Really!?? Ha ha, it’s awesome.”
Me: “Is this even music?”
Him: “Psh, you don’t even know music!”
It’s hard not to say something like, “At least I remembered deodorant today, stinky.” But he’s 14, so I let it go. I mean, I’m supposed to be the adult, right?
Anyways, last night he wanted to show me Sims3. He’s pretty much done with WoW. Since he can’t pwn everything instantly he has no interest in it. This point will tie in later. So we now play other video games or watch movies.
Me: “You’ve never seen Charlie’s Angels?”
Me: “Dude, you don’t even know movies!”
So he loads it up and begins to show me his awesome house. I ask what careers he picked to get so much money. I find out, they don’t have jobs. He cheated. I asked him what is the fun in that, you didn’t even try! I soon learn that jobs are boring and it’s only fun if you can have awesome stuff. I felt like any valuable lesson I might have mentioned to him over the last 5 years about what’s important in life has been flushed down the toilet, but not the $200 one, the $1550 one. After all, since it’s more expensive, it’s obviously better–at least according to him.
So I ask him to show me a few things and I watch him add some fancy windows to his house, build the pool bigger, change the color of the sofa. ZZZzzzz. So I ask him to show me character creation, I’m interested how it differs from Sims2. There are actually many differences and I have to say that I like the way that it’s set up. The way you decide their personality is fun, and I like that the life aspirations are based on the combo of personality traits you pick. So I make a character. In WoW, all my characters are dudes, so I decide to make a woman. I pick out some facial features, actually make her what some would consider heavy, her clothes cover everything and are very modest, yet stylish. To me, she looks like she has passion and is artistic. While making her he laughs and says, “when you’re done with this ugly person, I’m going to make someone hot.” I think my mouth gaped open. I told him that she is pretty too and that there isn’t a set “hot” that many different things can be beautiful.
Oh, life lesson? Is that you I hear flushing down the drain?
Okay, so he starts to make a character. It’s almost gross. Big red lips, skinny, blond hair, excessive make-up, and WTF did you just give her hooker boots? Yes, yes he did. She’s hot. No, she’s a prostitute. Okay okay,I tell myself to calm down, he’s 14. He’s so easily influenced by what society tells him is hot. He’ll learn, he’s young, but still, embarrassing. I can do nothing but laugh at him. He chooses her personality: popular, outgoing, well-off, etc. Barf again. It’s so cliche, there’s no originality in his character.
But then I just sit there thinking, am I an old coot already? Are the belly shirts and baggy pants just the old flannel and leg warmers of days I remember? Should I really worry about it? The thing that kind of alarmed me though is that just like WoW, in Sims3 he would rather just cheat to give them a god-like mode rather than work hard and achieve something. The instant gratification factor is so high. Perhaps it’s just a product of the generation which thrives on cell phones, iPods, and text messages, things that I still view as tools rather than necessities.
Either way, I’ve never been so aware of a generation gap in my life. And I really REALLY hope he doesn’t think hookers are that attractive, but he’s 14 and will do as he likes. I did remember though, that he finds fun in Sims3 from creating awesome houses and filling them with expensive things, where as I found more fun in advancing my characters and making their lives take on a meaning more than a $8000 couch ever could. But he likes it his way and me mine. So to prevent being a total hypocrite, I remember that for me in WoW it’s the same way, I like to dink around and don’t really raid, which others would find boring and pointless.
So weather it be doing dailies, or making simulated hookers, I guess the lesson is actually mine, to remember that one should do what makes them happy and have fun.