Thursday, December 24, 2009

Games and Boomers--Let's have some fun

The holidays are here and between now and New Years I will probably blog about some lighter topics in keeping with the season. 

Let's face it, Boomers are gamers. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed some games until the PC came along and I became hooked on Spider Solitaire. Then I was addicted to Free Cell. These two games came with my computer and I didn't have to do a thing to get them. Then a friend of mine told me about Text Twist on Yahoo Games. I went to the site and bookmarked it so I could come back any time I wanted.

Recently, Google featured some favorite applications of famous people. I can't remember whose recommendation this was, but some famous person found a great version of the original Tetris and put it on his Google home page. Of course, I had to have it, so I play it online. I only play the original 1989 version of Tetris that I got to know back then, but there are many updated options on this site.  Now all of these time wasters are available to distract me when I sit down at my desk to do something useful.

Games on the iPhone are slightly different. They actually fulfill a purpose. Games are great time fillers when you are waiting in an endless line at the post office or when you are waiting for a flight. They entertain you when you might not be doing anything and fill smaller time periods when you might not pull out a book to read. As you can tell, I am enjoying gaming on the iPhone quite a bit.

My son introduced me to a game called "Words with Friends," an app for the iPhone by NewToy.  It is like Scrabble with some exceptions. The only problem with "Words with Friends" is you have to play it with people who are on social networking sites and who are your friends on those sites. So right now I am only playing with my son. I welcome other gamers.

Do you remember the old days, when people used to play chess via the mail? They would mail their move to an opponent and vise versa.  Similarly, with "Words with Friends", you play a word on the board, and your friend is notified that it is now his turn. When he or she goes to the game on the iPhone, your word shows up on their playing board. You can take as long as you like to make the next move.  I've found this a delightful way to pass some time.

I have to say, when I first downloaded the app, I had no idea how to begin playing and needed someone to show me. App developers really have to work on making their sites Boomer friendly. Spell out what you do to begin a game and how to invite friends.  Don't assume everyone can just figure it out intuitively.

One of my friends recently recommended playing Scrabble on She says she plays on this site every day. I went to the web site and it was daunting. I couldn't figure it out. I'll need her to walk me through it. I'm guessing she had one of her adult kids walk her through it the first time she decided to use the site.

I'll let you know if I have any success with this in coming posts. In the mean time, have a wonderful holiday season and thanks for reading.


Rita said...

I don't play computer games, but I'd like to try Scrabble. However, playing one that's so complicated that I'd have to have someone show me how to do it doesn't sound like much fun.

Rita blogging at The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide

Esther Surden said...

I have to agree with you, Rita. Thanks for the comment. I have asked my friend to be a guest blogger here to explain the site to other Boomers. I hope to publish her response soon. Maybe it's easier than I think!

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