Tonawanda News

Columns

March 27, 2013

DUVALL: 'Wonder Years' has nothing on kids today

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — At the Passover sedar Monday I watch my cousin’s 18-month-old wobble around, then tap on a tablet with more skill than several adults in the room would have mustered. They don’t call it intuitive technology for nothing, I guess.

I remember typing papers in the school’s computer lab or library — the two rooms in my middle school that had computers — and using Claris Works to do it. 

The game du jour was Oregon Trail, during which players essentially sat there and stared at the screen as a wagon plunked along a dirt road, hoping the “Mary has typhoid!” dialogue box didn’t pop up. Mary always got typhoid, for reasons I’ll never know.

Oregon Trail’s big fun was “hunting” or clicking on lumbering buffalo to “shoot them” — and use about 2 pounds of the meat because hunting was the only fun thing to do so you did it about every 90 seconds, even though your wagon already was full.

I guess now I know how my parents felt when I watched “Wonder Years” and tried to imagine making dinner without a microwave, or a television with only three channels, as opposed to an opulent selection of 40.

Eric DuVall is the managing editor of the Tonawanda News. Contact him at eric.duvall@tonawanda-news.com.

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