I never thought I'd be writing about a game here. A game that the younger child is allowed to play on iPad when he has earned his 30-minute turn on a weekend. A game that father and son discuss extensively, plan strategies, and combine their forces to get to the next level.
"Mama, can I unload the dishwasher now, so I can earn my turn on the iPad?" That's not something I expected to hear from my baby, albeit, six year old baby, any time soon. But, sure enough, the urge to strategize and win levels and play different modes, clearly has him scrambling for ways to earn his nominal iPad turn just to focus on PvZ. the older child can take it or leave it.
The kid has been working on his own plants and packs for the game, on paper, of course. Some of the made-up plants: Spyberry (spies on zombies and comes out and drills when they are close), Booberry (scares off zombies), Gooseberry (shoots goose eggs at zombies), Radish (pulls zombies underground), Slime moss (sticks to other plants, slimes the zombies, and only lasts for 3 zombies), Palm Tree (makes zombies relax under it, sit and sip lemonade, when they are close to it), Smoke Tree (makes smoke from its leaves and chokes zombies), Loca (drops coconut and bowls it at zombies)...
And, with new plants, can themed packs be far behind? He has made up the Time Travel (based on Doctor Who's time traveling), Halloween Land Pack, Football Games Pack, Dancing Shows Pack, Insect Pack, Chess Pack, and Farm Travel Pack.
Any spare time he gets, he sits with this 1" wide grid paper (I admit it, I created the grid and printed it for him) and draws plants after plants, even strategizing how many coins (suns?) to collect before each plant can be used.
Not being a player myself, I find it fascinating that the other three in the house talk about this virtual world with such interest and anticipation. Since screen time is limited to weekends, and reading is a pleasurable activity that we all indulge in every day, this recent craze for the Plants versus Zombies game seems bizarre to me. But, this too shall pass, am sure. C'est la vie.