Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hopeless Addictions

A few weeks ago I got a pretty substantial check from FEMA paying off my flood insurance. I decided, as a loyal American, that I needed to do my bit to support the economy. Therefore, I ran out and bought an iPhone. This is a really cool little thing. You can talk to it. You just say, "Call Recovering ATR," or anyone, and there, on the other side of the phone, is the voice you seek.

It also plays well with my school's wifi. This is good because T-Mobile, if you ask, will not charge minutes for wifi calls. And yet, most of my life I'm surrounded by teenagers. My daughter, for example, informed me that the first thing I needed to do was play a game called Temple Run. You run around this maze chasing coins, pretending to be Indiana Jones, while pursued by a band of bloodthirsty killer monkeys.

I have a habit of calling student homes when they're absent, right in front of the class. It makes them ponder the relative wisdom of cutting my class. Last week, though, when I did that, it inspired a wave of interest from my students. They immediately observed I had ditched my previous phone for an iPhone, and this provoked a torrent of questions and advice that could not wait. Most of it involved sincere counseling to play Temple Run, and indeed to get Temple Run 2 as quickly as possible. And the price is right---free (slightly higher in Canada).

And I couldn't help but notice, as the bell rang the following day, and I counseled and threatened the kids to put away their cell phones, a large number were playing Temple Run 2. I'm still playing the first version, and I can't seem to stop. Perhaps it bodes well that I share the same addiction as my students, or perhaps it speaks to my hopeless lack of maturity. I can't really decide.

But I can't stop playing this game, and now that I have 40% of a week off, I'm afraid a great deal of it will go into running the maze. Are any of you hooked on this game, or is it just me and millions of hapless teenagers?
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