Sunday, 9 February 2014

Hunters vs gatherers




Although in some ways our modern day society is millions of light years removed from the prehistoric hunter/gatherer way of doing things, in other ways it hasn't changed one bit.  Mr.S and the 12yo boy love to hunt (kill!); while the 11yo girl and me put up remarkably well with the gathering of food in the local supermarket, chatting all the time.

Nothing brings this home to me more than the mysterious computer game 'Clash of Clans' that both my men are completely addicted to. The objective of this game can easily be captured in the slogan  'to kill or be killed', which the male half of the family finds hugely appealing, whereas my daughter and I can't even be bothered to feign that we're interested. While we talk about lovely stuff to grow, cook, bake and eat, the boys have developed their own, personal lingo.
 'I am under attack', is something Mr S announces on a regular basis these days. 'Better rearm', answers the 12yo succinctly without for the time being taking his eyes of his own on screen battle. 'I don't know why I am taking these witches into battle with me, because each time that I do they are getting killed straight away'. This time, the 12yo decides to walk over to his father to look at the battle in progress. 'Use them as a support troop dad', he starts. 'Put them at the back, that way they can be very useful'.
And so it goes on and on and on. They talk gold mines, battle castles, goblins, elixir, sieges, cups and levels. High fives are exchanged when one of them has reached another level or wins more cups/gold/elixir.
Mr S., when he thinks no one is watching, even goes as far as watching football and playing 'Clash of Clans' at the same time. As long as the goals don't interfere with his digging for gold, or fortifying his virtual village, he is in heaven.
I of course am just as bad, when it comes to guilty online pleasures. But as a typical gatherer, who in prehistoric times needed to talk all the time, to scare of any lurking, scary animals, I use my online time to communicate. Preferebly while I am chopping vegetables, filling lunch boxes, pulling mouldy PE kits out of bags,  or doing something else that is useful at the same time.  I 'talk' with fellow blogsters, send messages to my friends, take a peek at facebook so that I can 'like' what everyone in my circle (clan?) is doing,  post some photo's myself, listen to a TED talk and scroll through instagram.
But lately I am wondering whether it wouldn't be much more relaxing to do some killing myself. It might be utterly liberating to rule the virtual world from within the walls of 'Mrs S' ville'. Instead of liking posts, chatting to friends, or digesting hundreds of blog posts, I might find that after some virtual war fare I feel so relaxed, I could tackle my admin, pair up thirty pairs of socks in various shades of black, or sort out the five or so miscellaneous drawers in our house, without actually killing one of my house mates in the process.
I let that thought sit with me for a couple of days in which I pay particular attention to the boys in my household. Killing other clans doesn't seem to particularly make them want to do anything useful afterwards. And for my son at least 'talking' to his mates is one of the main attractions of joining a clan. Because: 'When I am awake really early and check my clan, quite often N. is also playing 'Clash of Clans' and then we sometimes chat for an hour.' Mr S. on the other hand, prefers not to join a clan, as he loves to be in total control of his own virtual set up.
Mmm. As a typical female I never feel more in control, (or loved) than just after I have ran something by my friends and they wholeheartedly agreed with whatever I expressed. Communicating online for me really is very relaxing (and so much cheaper than my other vice: internet shopping). All in all I think it's best if I leave the virtual killing, as well as the admin, paring of socks and messy drawers, to the men in my life. Time to check whether my online friends agree...