Posted January 16th 2012 by J. Edison Thomas.
Long before I technically completed my tenure of childhood, I began to regret that I would not get to play enough Duck, Duck, Goose before I was too old to do so. Grown-ups never trotted out the old game too often, and most of it is spent waiting for your turn—when it doesn't come, the feeling of lack carries over until the next chance to play. Around eight or nine, I realized that it was possible I had already played my last round, and that next chance would never arrive. It remains one of the principal regrets of my life.
Duck, Duck, Goose isn't unique in this case; the myriad of childhood activities that I could see marked for death upon advancing teenagehood caused me more stress than I like to imagine children face regarding the evanescence of time. Years before the imagined expiration date I had assigned them, activities like watching cartoons, playing with G.I. Joes, and climbing trees became what I can only term Childhood Guilty Pleasures. Like Nineteen Eighty-Four's Winston Smith and his doomed covert meetings with Julia, I could not fully enjoy myself because of the inevitable, advancing wall of childhood oblivion.
To some degree, I empathize with LARPers who fail or refuse to make the choice to leave childhood behind, and I am thankful that my generation has laid somewhat of a bulwark against total Adultivity. I still watch cartoons, I don't hesitate to hop on the swings at a playground, and I play more videogames than my own children. Occasionally, I stumble upon one that plays to the sensibilities of those Childhood Guilty Pleasures. Adam Spragg's Hidden in Plain Sight is just such a game.