I happen to span both generations, remembering fondly my father's railroad sets that would be set up every Chirstmas while at the same time, thoroughly enjoying beating zombies to a bloody pulp or blasting aliens to kingdom come.
Delving into Mr. Nemitz's column, he proffers the notion that video games are inherently mind-numbing and antisocial, thus creating a juxtaposition with the educational and social environment of model trains. Nemitz proves his point by interviewing a train shop owner who says this, "If you're working on a computer, it's one-on-one. You're not socializing. There's none of that atmosphere."
Granted, I could see an old man's thinking on this, so I'll let the above pass. But here's where I got angry:
Back home in his basement, Hinkley's walls are lined with thank-you notes from kids who, along with their parents, accepted his invitation to come have a look-see.
Many of the notes have pictures attached. Drawn by kids with their own hands. With actual crayons.
I'll leave the kids in the basement thing alone. What got me was the line, With actual crayons?!? Screw you! Did you know that despite the fact that I play games for a living, I wipe my butt with actual toilet paper and flip my pancakes with an actual spatula. Amazing, I know.
Okay, it Christmas so I'm going to settle down and try to bring out the best in Nemitz's column. I don't disagree that model trains are fun. Not only did my father have them, as I mentioned earlier, but my next door neighbor (and HS Physics teacher, Mr. Ames) had a large section of his basement dedicated to a model train set up. I thoroughly enjoyed looking at it and turning the electric switch on and off. But, that's really about it. Unless you're a hobbyist who loves making models, then the fun of operating the train itself does quickly wear off.
Video games are also fun. The two aren't mutually exclusive. A home, and this may come as a shock to Mr. Nemitz, could actually have a train set and a video game console. My home did.
Perhaps what these train hobbyists would enjoy is "Railroad Tycoon 3". That's if they could find the power button on their Commodore 64...oh...oh!!!