Call of [Parental] Duty

The holidays have passed…sort of. In its infinite wisdom, the Boston Public Schools decided to declare the first Monday after the looooong holiday some sort of a teacher training day, so the Vince and Connie are hanging around the house for one more day. The Parent Imperfect vowed that the family would take some sort of family vacation between Christmas and New Years’ Day, but, once again, this did not come to pass.

Connie spent a good part of her vacation in a theater class at Wheelock Family Theater, where she’ll be in another play this coming April. But Vince had nothing of that sort to occupy him. Since most of his best friends were out of town, he spent quite a bit of time either playing video games or wishing he was playing them…especially Call of Duty. Since this “first-person shooter” game is so much against his parents’ values, Vince’s fascination with it has caused much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the home. When emotions overflowed during the week, Call of Duty usually had something to do with it.

By now, the ongoing conflict over CoD is old news, but the old story took a new turn in the New Year. After listening to part of an NPR show on the impact of video games, Vince took CoD out of the machine and put it back in its box for the first time in over a year. He’s insists he will sell it back to the store that originally sold it to him. Stunned, the PI asked Vince if he really wanted to do this. Liz considered choking the father on the spot, but overcame the urge…for now.

Don’t be concerned! The radio show was not a conversion experience for Vince. As it surveyed the impact of games on how we all interact with technology, the show mentioned a couple of other games that sounded more interesting (but no less violent) than CoD. Vince has the idea that he can get one of these if he gets rid of CoD. Also, the Spirit of Christmas provided a Wii console for Ms. Connie’s Christmas, and the availability of an alternative that moves more than his fingers actually seems to have some appeal to Vince.

Whatever the reason, the cause of lots of the inter-generational stress in the happy home is suddenly out of the picture (or will be when the sale actually happens). Instead, Vince, Liz and Connie have gathered in the attic to spend the last night of vacation playing Just Dance 2. The PI is not tempted, but nor is he complaining…for now.


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