My son, Twin A, is the kind of kid who is fascinated with how things work. Maybe he gets his methodical nature from his mother. I remember in school being pleased to learn about analogies, proverbs, and logic puzzles.
Maybe it’s a phase for him, but it’s been going on for a long while, in kid time. One manifestation is enjoyment of hearing books about how things work, like nutrition, health, physics for kids, etc.
Another manifestation is learning about, and inventing, rules for games. He can make balloon volleyball into a very complex sport with rituals for before and after hitting the balloon, what you have to do if the balloon touches the ground, what you have to say and when, who has to stand on one foot, etc.
It is humorous for the fans but wearying for his teammates and opponents.
Last year our family was often victim to a game called “Super Suits.” Usually Twin A would serve as both the Game Administrator and a Contestant, enacting rules as the game progressed. The other Contestants would be Twin B and a long-suffering parent.
The premise of Super Suits is that the players are superheroes who will battle–if only the Set-up can ever be completed so the game can commence. The game starts, methodically, with choosing a color of suit, then claiming superpowers and abilities, then selecting weapons and defensive features. Certain superpowers will be disallowed by the Game Administrator. (No, you cannot have both the power of water and the power of magnetism, etc. No, you can’t make time pass faster to skip to the end of Super Suits).
By the time three people have selected suits, offensive powers, defensive powers, and other accessories such as time machines and jet packs, things begin to get confusing. People think they have powers they never picked, or maybe they remember powers they had last time. When the game starts, someone may erupt a volcano and someone else may claim they have the power to float on lava when they didn’t say anything about it during Set-up. A son may flood the earth and mom may try to evaporate all the water with her power of blinding light and the Administrator will say that that would not actually work.
Just when you think the game is over, people come back from being killed and the Game Administrator refuses to disallow it. Perhaps the Administrator will even come back from being killed. Mom is a good sport to a certain point but she felt Game Ending Defeat when the Administrator said that people can come back from being killed 10 times per round and the game consists of 10 rounds. AFTER spending 25 minutes choosing suits and powers.
Gradually Super Suits went away. People refused to commit to a game that took so long to play. My son outgrew it. The boys got Minecraft. We let down our guard…
Last week, my son invented a new game, it was called “His Game: His Rules.” He kept asking to play it. I kept putting him off.
One afternoon I felt bad about it and said “Alright, Buddy, let’s play His Game: His Rules. How does it go?”
“First we pick a color.”
“Alright, I pick orange.”
“Then we pick our weapons.”
“Is this Super Suits???! I refuse to play Super Suits!”
“Mom, the game is called ‘His Game: His Rules.’”
Loss on a technicality.