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10 Reasons Kids Don’t Play Cowboys and Indians
February 27, 2012 | in Babysitting Jobs
Kids nowadays don’t play the games we used to play years ago. For better or worse, they’ve got different options than we had. You may argue that the age of high tech has made children lazier and stifled their imaginations; or you might see that they are more technologically advanced than their predecessors, and are better equipped to function in a digital world. Whichever way you slice it, there are 10 reasons that kids don’t play Cowboys and Indians anymore:
- Politically Incorrect – For one thing, it’s no longer considered proper to even refer to them as Indians, but as Native Americans. After all, that whole Indian thing came about over a navigational miscalculation on the part of Columbus.
- It’s Not Available on PS3 – Let’s face it, parents. If it hasn’t been developed into a video game, then it can’t be worth playing. Today’s battlefields are more sophisticated to match the times, anyway, so …
- Aliens vs. Predators – This sort of thing is more likely to be the kind of match-up between kids looking to do play battle, complete with high-tech weaponry. The trappings of the Old West have lost their appeal in the Digital Age.
- Duke is Out – Kids today are more likely to want to emulate Lil Wayne than John Wayne, and are more into shooting the bull than in Sitting Bull.
- Television – Back when Cowboys and Indians was a popular pastime with American youth, there was a glut of Westerns on TV. You couldn’t go an hour without seeing one: Bonanza, Death Valley Days, Gunsmoke, Rawhide; Have Gun, Will Travel, etc. Now? The only tribe you see on TV are the Kardashians.
- History – Fundamental to its past appeal was the erroneous belief that Cowboys and Indians was a good guys (cowboys) vs. bad guys (Indians) game. Kids are better educated about such historical inaccuracies now.
- Merchandise – A lack of marketing appeal due to the absence of any entertainment media to promote it (movies, TV, video games), means there is no merchandise for parents to buy their kids even if they wanted to play.
- Diversity – Children are growing up in a world where there is a greater emphasis on diversity, and an appreciation for different cultures, than existed back when Cowboys and Indians was a popular game.
- Indoors/Outdoors – Kids in general aren’t playing enough of any games that require being outdoors and which involve physical exercise.
- No Role Models – For most kids, a big factor in a game’s appeal is in their ability to associate roles within the game with real-life role models, or at least heroes that were manufactured by the entertainment industry. Who would a young boy imagine himself to be today, were he to strap on a pair of spurs and don a ten-gallon hat? Besides George W. Bush, that is.
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