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Bernie DeKoven's FunLog

More fun, more often, for more people and other living things.

Games Seniors Play

This week's newsletter started with a link to this article in Newsday - Racing to Play. It's about the kinds of games seniors play. You know what kinds the reporter talks about? The Mah Jong, Scrabble, Bingo kinds. The reporter actually interviewed me. She had already done a lot of research and was convinced that she had a fundamental grasp of what seniors (that's me, too, you know) play.

Me, I was horrified. Here's the only quote she got out of me:
"Fun is "noble" in the eyes of California-based game-maker and guru Bernie DeKoven, 64. "I think a lot of older people are reclaiming their need to play," he said, "and they're looking for opportunity and finding places that foster a certain amount of playfulness."
You can almost hear the horror.

I received a couple of wonderful responses from subscribers, and I wanted to share them with you.

The first came from George Platts, long time friend and renown artist of fun, who coined the term "Everlasting Games:
"I've been playing and inventing wacky games for groups of seniors to play for over ten years.

"'Seated Hockey' almost got out of hand it was SO physical. The other hospital staff could not believe it (how fun it was). The seniors really enjoyed it. We played hard. We played fair. Nobody was hurt. That's easy, if you have the know how.

"'Bean Bag Bin' was specially designed because a number of the seniors were blind or partially sighted. Two lines seated opposite each other. A thrower. A catcher. Thrower tosses a heavyish bean bag. Catcher uses a metal trash can. If the thrower is blind, the catcher can move the trash can. If the catcher is blind, the thrower can aim well enough. The bean bag dropping into the metal trash can makes a very satisfying noise (and doesn't bounce out). Each thrower has three turns then the bean bags and trash can ('bin' in English) move to the next pair alternating thrower-catcher between teams. When it gets to the end of the line everybody stands up and changes to the next seat in line (each team in an opposite direction - the end people have a longer walk; good exercise) and the second round begins with people facing different opponents . . . and so it goes. Brilliant."
And from Jac Rongen, these wonderfully affirming photos.

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