The Role of Children’s Games in Society

In ancient societies, children’s games prepared their young for adult activities. Sports and games of tag prepared their youth to hunt and fight in wars. As society evolved, our games evolved to prepare our youth for their changing roles as adults. Here are how some modern children’s games prepare our young ones for the adult world:

Simon Says: This game prepares our young for the modern workplace. A man, clearly white (Simon), tells you exactly what to do. There are subtle, nonsensical rules and if you don’t follow them you are “out”.

Seven Up: Remember this one? Heads down, thumbs up! This one teaches you adult coping mechanisms; put your head down, cover your eyes, and give a thumbs up. As an adult this will be be the only way to deal with the world crumbling around you.

Musical Chairs: In any modern economy there is a scarcity of resources. Sure, when you are young it may seem like you are all happily walking around in a circle with your friends, listening to cheery music. When you get older, though, the music stops and either you or one of your friends will be homeless.

Duck, Duck, Goose: It’s never too young to learn that it’s a duck eat goose world out there. Wait, how did you play this game? Sounds like we had way different rules where I’m from.

Rock Paper Scissor: Sure, real wars aren’t fought with these weapons, but the general idea is the same. When they are older they can learn the real rules: Molotov-Sanction-Nuke. They may learn this sooner if they’re in the room when the news is on.

Monkey in the Middle: I think this teaches them evolution? I don’t know, I’ve never played it.

Hide and Seek: This is great preparation for an adult social life, where everyone either won’t leave you alone or avoids you all together.

The Floor is Lava: When the inevitable apocalyptic natural disaster comes, our children will be ready to hop from table to couch to avoid it. They will also have practice pushing their little sisters into it.

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