Is It Too Late To Teach A Young Dog New Tricks?

The COVID lockdown saw an uptick in boardgame interest.  Families found themselves opening their storage closets and dusting off the manual versions of Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Chutes and Ladders, Sorry, and Checkers.  There were a few classics that gave families some trouble. What some discovered was games like Clue, Risk and Othello have not aged well.  Still others were put off by the difficulty of some of the games.  Game makers in the UK, not wishing to miss a sale, have listened to these complaints and for the first time in 75 years, Mattel is making a major change to the iconic board game Scrabble.

According to the report: The new launch is a double-sided version of the famous board game — one side with the original game for those who want to stick to the long-time traditional version, and one side with a “less competitive” version to appeal to Gen Z gamers. The new game will include helper cards, use a simpler scoring system, be quicker to play and allow people to play in teams. Mattel says the new protocols and scoring — no need to do math for each turn— will offer “shorter games.”

“The makers of Scrabble found that younger people, Gen Z people, don’t quite like the competitive nature of Scrabble,” Gyles Brandreth, who co-hosts the language podcast Something Rhymes With Purple, told BBC Radio 4 Today. “They want a game where you can simply enjoy language, words, being together and having fun creating words.”

I guess I can see where the makers of the game are coming from, however, isn’t the point of the game to make you better at spelling and math? The younger generation is being conditioned to push against competition and anything that is challenging.  As a result, we are producing a society that cannot handle conflict, difficulty and loss.  We have cushioned young people to the degree that they are now adults that cannot lead, think critically or evaluate constructive criticism.  We are less prepared for future global conflict, but much more pressing; this generation can’t handle conflict in their own homes.  Couples cannot cope and parents cannot raise their own children.
In response to what the UK is doing, some have said this is not that big of a deal as the original version is still available and it is only in the UK at the moment.  The problem is that the new generation will not play the older version if something less challenging is available and everything that is over there eventually comes over here (Think: The Beatles, haggis, baked beans on toast and mince pies. I’m kidding. I’m sure all of those things are fine. Don’t send me emails). In all seriousness, the game company is telling this generation that they are too dumb to play a spelling game and that it’s okay. “You will never use math in real life, so why use it in a board game?”  It’s not okay!  It is sad to think that “The Greatest Generation” was carved out through conflict on the shores of that island nation, and it is now too stressed to play traditional Scrabble.

The Bible is full of examples of working hard and overcoming difficulty as being part of life.  Many of these examples are spiritual in nature, but the principle is sound for application in all areas of life:
Romans 5:3-5 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

1 Corinthians 9:27  "No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."
Proverbs 12:1 - Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.
Hebrews 12:11 - For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Ephesians 6:4
- Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

It’s never too late to make a lasting difference wherever the Lord has you at this moment in your life.
Serving the Savior, 
Bro. Jonathan  

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