In the Blink of an Eye

Post date: Nov 23, 2010 5:45:26 PM

Yesterday my family and I went to Book Off, which is a cool Japanese store that buys and sells books, DVDs, CDs, and games. I walked out of the store with the Playstation 2 game Bokura no Kazoku, the only game in the "Boku" series I didn't already have. This morning I played through it while my son and daughter snuggled with me and slept. What a lovely game!

Bokura no Kazoku's subtitle is "My Family Growing up in the 21st Century" and that pretty much describes the game perfectly. An entire "lifetime" can be played through in about an hour, but the game is designed so it's different every time you play it. In the game I had three kids--two boys and one girl. Looking at the instructions that came with the game, I think you always end up with this combination of children, but they can take very different paths in life each game. For this particular playthrough, two of my kids ended up getting married and having kids, while one remained single. My oldest son went into teaching, my younger son became a baker, and my daughter became a nurse.

What makes the game so beautiful is how it depicts the fleeting nature of life. Each year takes only takes a couple minutes to pass. You start as a young father and before you know it you're a grandparent. You can influence your kids' development in different ways, such as suggesting which school they attend, where they work, and what activities they take part in. I'm looking forward to playing through again to see how different things will be.

I don't know if Bokura no Kazoku would have had such an impact on me if I wasn't a parent, but since I'm a dad, it really hit close to home. My kids are still very young, but already it feels like time is moving far too quickly. I'm interested in seeing what interests my kids embrace as they grow older and what types of adults they'll be... but I also hope life takes its time getting to that point. A game like Bokura no Kazoku is a reminder that every day should be enjoyed.