05 April 2012

A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to The Blog


Actually, I'm not entirely sure what did happen. Life happened, for sure, in all the ways that life has to absorb me. I have a particular habit of delving into the important thing of the moment and diving into it sometimes at the expense of other important things. I do it, I read and research about it, I talk about it, I want to hear from others about it. It's a laser focus that can get too narrow before I feel the mastery I like and resurface. Then I look around and see that more time has passed than I realized (loss of a sense of time is part of my narrow focus), I get genuinely amazed and I reconnect with what else is still important. Very important but now part of a bigger world for me.

I've been wrestling with whether or not to share this since I wish it were something more momentous or worthy somehow, even tragic, that has involved me, but instead I've been involved in the world of gaming. Specifically a game my grandson introduced me to called Dragonvale on the iPad. I was only able to blog sporadically anyway in dial up land where my daughter's family lives and where I spent two months. I had time available to live their life and to play. I'd been looking for a way to connect with my grandson in his great love for gaming but couldn't really understand his fascination with the ones I'd seen up until this game.

Dragonvale has it all- clearing Islands, building habitats, breeding dragons, including special or seasonal dragons, planting food to grow the dragons, landscaping and decorating the Islands, making decisions and planning for who, how and where to maximize finances to be able to best develop this world. I got obsessed, shut down other things, and thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful process of world building. It's graphically beautiful, highly imaginative and just plain fun. I talk to my grandson multiple times a week about our strategies and results, I email my niece who's also involved, even my daughter works with her son making dragon decisions and cheers us on.


Island 1:


Island 2:


Island 3:


Island 4:



But I look at my last post's date and can't quite believe this much time has passed. I've reached mastery in Dragonvale, I want to get back to writing. It's been too long and there's lots more to share. Gaming vs writing- oh god, does that make me shallow? Is it unseemly at my age? Oh well, there it is.

Are any other closet gamers out there?  How are you connecting with your grands?

20 comments:

  1. Nope, not a gamer. Maybe one day I'll find something that catches ahold of me like Dragonvale did for you. But I haven't been interested so far. It does seem like it might be fun if I were a shut-in or disabled and needed a substitute activity, but it's only because I don't understand the draw. I spend way too much time in front of my gadgets as it is.

    It's great to have you back, in any event! :-)

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    1. I didn't understand either until… Glad to be back!

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  2. What a marvelous way to stay in touch!
    I only have one grandchild, now a high schooler. Enjoy these moments; they grow up too fast and move on to other stuff they may not want to share any more.
    Happy Easter.

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    1. I cherish each Skype call with him. He has this excited edge to him that is so fun!

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  3. I actually think you have been spending your time quite productively because of the connections you have made with your grandson. You have also become aware of his world and what activities drive him. That is something that he will remember.

    I've been consumed with living life myself lately. I haven't taken the time to blog because there has just been too much going on. I think all of this is what makes our "journey into elderhood" interesting. Good to read your post though. I always enjoy what you write so much.

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    1. You're so kind, Sally! I've missed you.

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  4. I'm more of a solitaire or backgammon online gamer, but I don't think you've wasted time at all. You've connected to your grandson and niece in their world, not always easy to do. Besides, they same it keeps you mind limber.

    But I'm glad you're back. I've missed you.

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    1. Patti, my niece sustained brain damage from a closed head injury in an auto accident 10 years ago and struggles with basic things like ability to speak. This has been so special for us to connect over how to breed a particular dragon and how to buy another Island. I love her and value any connection. That goes without saying with my grandson.
      Anch'io as they say in Italy- me too!

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  5. OMG that looks like fun. I love computer games. I have stayed up until 5 a.m. more than once playing the original Sim City, which is a much less beautiful version of building habitat and making decisions. And playing it to connect with your grands definitely makes it a worthwhile use of your time. So there!

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    1. I am so glad to hear you say that! Seriously! I was feeling a bit weird. You have to play this with your grands- they'll love it and so will you. I could only be satisfied with something graphically gorgeous at this point. I didn't even mention about the little visitors that emerge through portals and dissolve back into them. they're adorable!

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  6. I love it!!! that is so funny
    I am into Temple Run, Draw Something, Words with Friends, Connect Four.........Pinterest......I barely have time to blog/ha

    I remember when we got Nintendo and Pac Man, my daughter ask me to please quit playing and go to bed (it was in her room)
    I've always loved to play games!!

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    1. Oh yes, Words With Friends, I didn't mention that but…! I love the story of you playing in your daughter's room and her telling you to go to bed- nice role switch!

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  7. i think it's absolutely gorgeous that you can connect with your grandson via this game..speaking his language...i bet he loves it and is proud to have a grandmother like you...the game sounds very cool indeed..i love everything with dragons anyway...smiles...may have to check it out... happy easter to you...

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    1. There's a spring dragon that looks like an Easter Bunny- very cute! Thanks for your encouraging words. My grandson advises me on strategies which gives him a chance to be the expert and guide an adult. It's very dear.

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  8. Welcome back! Today I wrote a post about my grandson playing with puppets I made. He is only 2 years old, but also loves anything electronic. Gaming might be in our future, too.

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    1. Go for it. My husband is astounded. I'm the last one he would ever predict getting involved in gaming. But I'm having a great time!

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  9. I think that is wonderful! And now I want to try it...but I'm glad you have resurfaced! For now...

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  10. Exactly, for now! I just got a phone call to come to Antigua and work at Crossroads again for six weeks to help out. What could I say but YES! Is your son or daughter a gamer?

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  11. I can imagine getting captivated this way, with a grandson! And maybe someday I will. I suspect it will happen, because his parents are both gamers.

    For now, I care for baby while his parents and my husband play Dominion, a board game.

    I really love your positive perspective and believe it is well placed.

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    1. And how is that new grandbaby? You're connecting with him now and you'll probably want to connect with him at every stage as well. I just never thought this particular connection would captivate me so. But the new spring dragon is the cutest.

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