High Score

Thanks largely to all these portable computing devices everyone is hauling around with them lately, gaming has become something of a democratised indulgence. There was a time when my parent's generation looked down on gaming (and to a degree still do so) as an impenetrable, poorly-understood, and unhealthy activity. Now though we have Angry Birds and Threes.

My almost-mother-in-law bought an iPad mini to take with her on her vacation in France instead of her laptop. She seemed to think it was a good idea, and was pretty enthusiastic. She wanted to spend a little less, but as she already uses an iPhone we convinced her that the extra few pounds would be money well spent. Of course, she knew how to use it, but we went through much of the basics again to affirm the similarity in operation. She of course protested that she'd never remember any of this.

I — and I can only blame myself — had an idea that would help her get used to gesturing on the larger touch screen. I would gift her a copy of Threes. It's popular, exceptionally well designed, and apparently (though it failed to entertain me for more than a few days) more addictive than crack. She was just getting the hang of it as she left; still full of protest and certain of her inability to understand how any of "this stuff" works. I was confident that she could operate messages, her email, Facebook and Safari.

We got Facetimed from France and she's gotten more than double my high score. Go figure.

Still people tell me these tablets are a compromise, a fad, inferior.


WWDC 2014