I have searched for but cannot find the NPR story I was listening to while cooking dinner one night about moms and kids and iPhones, but I was delighted to hear that moms readily hand over their iPhones to their children for their amusement, especially while waiting – at a doctor’s office, or in a grocery line, for example. I remember one mom laughing and saying she sometimes says to her child, “Honey, please give Mommy her iPhone back. She needs to make a phone call!”
When I was a child, I remember during very long waits, when we had already read many books and colored many pages in many coloring books, my mother would let me look in her purse. I can still feel the sense of wonder at rolling up, then rolling down, a bright red tube of lipstick, opening and closing her silver compact, snapping and unsnapping the button on her billfold.
As a child, if she had had an iPhone in her purse? I can only imagine how enchanted I would have been to play with it.
My mother would have been very thoughtful about what apps she had on her iPhone that her daughter would see. My mother would have considered that her daughter saw enough of real life through the family’s subscriptions to Life and Look magazines and through David Brinkley’s and Walter Cronkite’s reports on the television – Buddhist monks self-immolating in Vietnam, children starving in Biafra. She would have wanted my games to just be for play.
As her grown child, I still like games to just be for play. In another life, I was a teacher; when the students gave me a demo of Halo, I had to lie down on a table, faint from all the blood. The idea of a game where pigs and birds kill themselves or each other just makes me sad.
When our CTO, Alex Edelman, asked me what kind of mobile app game I wanted, I asked for a slide puzzle. His family took the photographs and they like nature, so many of the puzzle choices are beautiful landscapes, or close-ups of flowers, the “home” puzzle sporting a green lizard. One photograph probably doesn’t quite fit with all the others, but Alex let me pick that one. It’s for a kid like me. Just for play.