“Garden Warfare, silly!”
That’s how my 5 year old explained the game he was attempting to play to his friend. He’s not playing the actual video game; we don’t even own it (we are not going to pay for an Xbox Live Gold membership ever), but we’ve watched videos of other people playing it, and so it has become a real world game. It basically involves the boys running around making their best pea shooter onamonapias and occasionally falling flat on the ground; waiting for the other to come and stand idly next to them for 2 seconds to revive them. Yes, this is just another way Plants Vs Zombies permeates our daily lives, and confuses the lives of everyone else.
Back in Part 1 of my series of discussions of my children’s favorite franchise, I posted a pic of my old Playmobil Victorian dollhouse, with its patio overtaken by paper zombies. This came about from an attempt to distract Charmander from wanting to play the actual video game constantly by rigging a real world proxy. Initially, we set up a game board of sorts with Legos, and used some very abstract designs to stand in for the plants (different colored blocks for the plants, and headless mini-figures for the zombies). This was a satisfactory substitute for probably half a year or so, but one day he wasn’t feeling content with the designs any more, so I decided to set up these cut-outs for him:
A sheet of PvZ paper cut-outs
Now, we have a million of these hiding around the house, being nibbled on by Bulbasaur. Both Charmander and Squirtle play with them pretty quietly together, though, and at least they can’t really hurt each other with paper, can they? Interestingly enough, my oldest started making some of his own plants again just the other day, out of the larger Lego Duplos:
Ready the firing squad.
Even Squirtle, ever eager to be like his brother, has developed his own games based on Plants Vs. Zombies. He can’t actually play the game at all, so he pretends that he’s playing it on an imaginary phone.
Squirtle: “Look, I unlocked the Far Future!”
Random person: “Oh, very nice?”
Squirtle: “I’m a Sunflower!”
It has to be really confusing for his poor Pre-school teacher, although I’ve tried to explain what’s going on. This particular game of pretend can lead to confusion for Squirtle, as well, because he doesn’t understand that smart phones aren’t actually dedicated gaming devices. A lot of people, upon being shown his imaginary phone, try to make imaginary phone calls to him, which he doesn’t get, even though I’ve had him speak to his Grammy on the phone multiple occasions.
So, yes; PvZ takes up a lot of our life. Even when they’re not playing the actual game, they are still playing games based on the game. In way, I think that can be counted as a positive: they’re being fairly creative and active, right? We need to do something to get them to communicate with their friends about it more clearly, though. Can you guys all have your kids be obsessed with PvZ so that they just understand like my kids expect them to? Thanks, guys. Sincerely, The Zombies.