This is an oldie-but-goodie and previously unpublished AdamRant that I drafted, oh, about five years ago. Neither the trends described nor my indignant stances on the matter seem to have changed all that much, though 🙂
[…] “A lot of people are strapped for time, and they don’t want to pull out a game if they know it’s going to be an hour or more,” said Reyne Rice, toy trends specialist at the Toy Industry Association.
Faster games are easier for families to fit into their hectic lives, she said.
“What we call ‘time compression’ is becoming an overbearing trend in our industry,” said Richard Tait, co-founder of board game company Cranium.
With kids’ schedules packed with afterschool activities and homework, and the rise in both dual-income and single-parent families, Tait said it is hard for families to find time to play board games — especially new ones they haven’t played before. […]
– AP Newswire article, “The games are getting faster“
Well, folks, in light of this change in our culture, I have invented a surefire winner of a game! My game — which I’m so kindly sharing with all of you for free — is…
– Simple… no rulebook needed!
– Fast… can be done in literally under a minute!
– Cheap… costs only pennies!
– Easy… you don’t even have to be in the same room as your competitors!
Ready? Okay, here goes…
– Each player takes a penny.
– Before flipping it in the air, they call tails or heads.
– If they are correct, they win. If not, they lose.
If you’re feeling really extravagant and have lots of extra time, you can actually do a best two-out-of-three. And if it’s not high tech enough for you, hire someone in India to do a randomized Flash movie of this, so you don’t even have to touch a real penny… you can press a button and have it flipped for you!
* * *
Okay, on a serious note, this article bummed me out.
The quotes — almost Onioneque in a way — are so pathetic, they’d be laughable if they weren’t, well, said in earnest.
“We ended up playing for 30 minutes or 40 minutes. It whizzed by.”
Oh. My. God. People actually playing something together for over half an hour? What is this world coming to? Tell me, dear, did you feel just as guilty about watching inane TV programs for 31.5 hours a week?
But clearly anything more than an hour of entertainment with friends or family is clearly pushing it.
“A lot of people are strapped for time, and they don’t want to pull out a game if they know it’s going to be an hour or more”
It’s a race to the bottom.
“Our games are designed so that you don’t have to read the rules…and then they’re all designed to be played in less than 20 minutes”
Less than 20 minutes. And mind you, no distractions during the game… no joking around, no spontaneous stories or sipping of wine or eating of popcorn. This, folks, is SERIOUS, COMPRESSED FUN! Did I say fun? Er, I mean, flashy entertainment. Fun just sounds too, well, you know, wasteful!
It’s bad enough that most kids are no longer permitted, much less encouraged, to engage in idle play with non-electronic things… hands-on building with wooden blocks or even making treehouses, etc. But our everything-in-under-60-seconds microwavable culture has just gone too far. AND YOU, YES YOU, GET OFF MY LAWN!!!
UP NEXT: Sex and romance taking too long? Stay tuned to learn how you can compress your foreplay AND lovemaking into 7 minutes or less!
AND THIS JUST IN: In an era where everyone’s on the go, many people are finding they just don’t have the time to attend funerals for people who have, well, gone up and went. “There’s a need and demand for — how shall I put this? — more efficient funerals” noted Mack from Moron and Associates Research Firm. “I think we’ll start seeing more of the ‘quickie funerals’… you know, respectfully requesting guests to keep their eulogies at 60 seconds or less, that sort of thing.”
“Look,” he added, “Grandma Mabel’s dead, okay, and we’re not. And we’re busy people. So let’s just get on with things. We’ve got quarterly earnings to meet…”