On 2015-07-13, Vincent wrote:
Ken: My take on those kinds of pretend games is that they do have objects, they're just really easy. "Let's pretend to be doctors and nurses" IS the object of the game.
Here's an example. I was playing a pretend game with my then 6-year-old. We were super agents on missions with high-tech gadgets. We started by declaring what our gadgets were. He declared that he had, I don't really remember, maybe a backpack that let him fly up to orbit and eyeglasses that shot freeze rays.
I declared that I had a watch that I could use to cook eggs, and a shoe that I could use to iron my clothes. I could tell that he was nonplussed, but he didn't realize yet that I was throwing the game, so he started describing our mission. It was, naturally, to fly up to the space station and neutralize some threat that was probably vulnerable to freeze rays. Halfway through, I interrupted him with "but I can't go on a mission today! I have to iron my clothes."
He frowned at me and said that back at base they had a cloning chamber, so that I have a duplicate, so that's no problem. I said, "that's not fair! How come my duplicate gets to go on missions while I have to stay here and iron my clothes?"
He was pissed.
My take is that the object of the game wasn't to defeat the space threat - that was given - but to simply see the game through to the end. That's a challenging enough object for a 6-year-old's attention.
(Also, what kind of jerk is it who intentionally throws a cooperative game with a 6-year-old? This kind. A real jerk.)