THIS WEEK, FOR A LOT OF 16-YEAR-OLD BOYS ACROSS CANADA AND MAYBE NORTH AMERICA, THIS IS WHAT LIFE IS LARGELY ALL ABOUT.
At the very least, this RPG (Role Playing Game) is certainly what's taking up most of the time for my 16-year-old son (right, below) and one his buddies, Alex.
The game was released in Canada this past week. I drove my son down to the mall on Tuesday to pick it up. He paid for it himself, which is a departure from past experiences when I'd foot the bill.
And that's a good thing, seeing as I'm on strike at the moment and not bringing in any cash.
I have no idea what the game is about, but I'm very familiar with RPGs, I play some of them myself from time to time as a diversion.
I think this one involves a central character who battles the usual demons and monsters and stuff, but he can also get married, have kids...you name it.
In some ways, I'd like to be able to rail against these computer games and how kids are exercising their thumbs and fingers rather than their hearts and legs, but this is their culture.
What I care more about is that my son feels comfortable enough to bring his friends here to my place and to do their thing, not my thing, with me more or less being a fly on the wall.
The two of them spent hours Saturday afternoon playing this game.
And then they went to meet another friend at the pizza joint where several of them and their friends work for supper, although I expect them back here at some point.
I like their independence and that they feel cool hanging out here...I had offered to make them supper, but they said that's cool.
Although when I pick my daughter up from work, of course, they become secondary and will have to move out of the living room and into his bedroom to play the game on HIS TV, which is smaller...
That's the pecking order of life, they're learning.
And they appear to be learning it pretty well.
(This is my shot of the TV with them playing the game on it...)