Shanghaiist remembers with fondness the days in the schoolyard before the advent of computers. Oh how much fun we had, playing handball, flicking marbles across a concrete path, and moving small piles of dirt about the place. Who needs a new-fangled state-of-the-art role-playing video game like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (with full facial animations and lip-synching, a sinister plot involving an unknown assassin of the emperor, and incredibly life-like battle scenes where gamers wield Mithril blades against wave after wave of demons) when you’ve got a yo-yo?
Thus we applaud the recent initiative of the Shanghai municipal government to get students to play traditional Chinese street games like hopscotch, shuttlecock, hoop-rolling, and that fun-with-delirium pastime of “jumping over the rubber band.”
Over 100 schools in the city have signed on for the program, and 100 volunteers (“game teachers”) have expressed willingness to teach kids how to play these outdoor games.
Meanwhile, some poor youngsters are stuck inside, getting fat in front of the new videogame version of The Godfather, a massive visual recreation of 1940s New York City, in which they have to play the role of a mobster trying to wrestle control back to the Corleone family, through a series of mob hits, extortion missions and racket takeovers.