It seems to me that more kids are more and more indulging in immediate gratification activities. I feel sorry for them for several reasons. Taking your childhood a little slower means that you have time for your brain to form proper memories that will serve to comfort you later in life. Another reason to limit immediate gratification is when you turn 18 the world will stop catering to you as you were a child. It will be a harsh transition. Learning early on that immediate gratification comes at a cost is essential for a well adjusted adult. Some people never grow out of childhood, taking each day as an opportunity to indulge in hedonistic activities and not caring for other's needs.
I used to play board games. One comes to mind by the name of Axis and Allies. It took hours, if not days to play. We had fun playing it and had many conversations while playing it. We took it slow and in doing so I don't really remember the game playing as I remember spending quality time with my friends and getting to know them. In sharp contrast, playing some video game online with people you hardly know does not qualify as 'making TRUE friends'. You log off and go to bed, sometimes at 4:00am in the morning and fall asleep with an empty feeling.
You see that deep need to connect to people on a close proximity level, in my opinion, is essential in good mental health.
That's all I will say about that.
Hopefully this weekend (This next Saturday) I will try out that adventure in Travelers with my gaming group. I find Travelers more open ended with not so many restricting rules or a rule for every little thing (like Dungeons & Dragons has become). You travel to planets, discover new places, new people, puzzles, and other interesting and thought provoking activities. Leaving the dice to the GM mostly keeps the players on edge and the dice rolling is kept to a minimum. In fact, combat is kept to a minimum so that exploration and problem solving yields rewards and violence is a means to defend oneself and as a last resort. I tire of a Role Playing Game claiming to take you to new worlds and places when 50% of the book is dedicated to combat. In effect, a true RPG is not a RTS, MMO or FPS - it's a many person project to create a sort of novelette, a unique work of fiction where everyone participates in it's creation. As many have said, it's a role playing game not a roll playing one...
You remember this game? I do. My brother and I used to play it all the time until High School. Apparently they polished it and you can see the new one here on bleaseworld's blog.