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    • Why are so few 'children's' games played by adults? I'm not referring to playing with kids but rather with other adults. I recall playing hide and seek with a large group of my friends when I was in my 20's. We played at night in a large park by my house. One friend climbed a tree, another hid in a garbage can. All I remember is we had a lot of fun and none of us was under the influence either. I am also thinking about two years ago when my girlfriend and I (in our 30s and 40s) played tag on a large playground with two kids we were watching. As adults we are in pretty good shape and had a heck of a lot of fun playing tag for over an hour. Why don't we play fun games as adults? Why are the games we play all so serious and organized? Why do we have to have kids involved to allow ourselves to play? What is a popular game that adults play and that's similar to a kid's game?

    • Do you think then that many adults would like to do such things so long as they weren't too frail? Many we simply have developed a more sophisticated level of play as adults. Take organized sports for example. I sure don't know.

    • Oooh good question. I've played a few games of tag with just adults but they certainly aren't the go-to activity. I love playing that kind of game with my kids and it usually surprises the other parents at the park when I join in.

      I think there are a couple of factors: The games you mentioned are very physical, and most adults in our society slow down and stop doing things with their bodies. We become inflexible, uncoordinated, and less strong. The other thing is we become more self-conscious and it requires a pretty confident person to hide in a garbage can. ;)

      I recently went to the ocean with a friend of mine in her 40s (mother of 6 kids!) who lives in the midwest. She was so excited to be there that she turned some cartwheels and did a handstand from sheer happiness. I was gobsmacked and immediately added those things to my bucket list. Why not? It's been 10 years since I've tried turning a cartwheel but there's no good reason why I can't get that goin' again.

    • Some good insights there. The lack of physical fitness is as you suggest probably key here. It might be interesting to look for a study of hunter gatherer societies or some such society where people are much more fit. I wonder how their adult and children's games compare? Maybe they spend a bit more time playing them. I am an older person but I've dedicated a considerable part of my life to maintaining a high level of physical fitness. When I reflect on playing tag with the kids I realize that few people could actually do that with kids. We were even playing tag where we had to climb and chase after one another through the assorted play apparatus. I also think we tell people to grow up. Why are you acting like a child? Why do we do that? Why is it not good to play like a child? Would it mean we are abdicating some adult responsibility?

      So 1) lack of physical fitness 2) wanting to appear mature 3) stigma 4) responsibilities 5) ??

    • I think its probably a mix of everything mentioned so far, with a few extras thrown in. With each individual element affecting each person differently, ie more or less.
      Also kids are learning lots while playing, building resilience, team work and all those important social things we need as adults. repetition is important when building these skills but once learnt maybe we just move on to other things.

    • I still love competition, and enjoy it with other adults as well (board games, etc.) but I've found more adults are uncomfortable with it than kids are. You'll find kids who are sore losers, but most are able to play a friendly game and leave it at that. With adults, it's harder to find people who will do that and not either check out entirely or get heated with competition.

      I wonder if we've forgotten some of the lessons we've learned as kids, or else the less visible competition (jobs, etc.) that we experience as adults has made us lose touch the ability to enjoy a friendly game.

      Related observation: Adults still do plenty of races and organized sports (rec basketball, triathlon, etc.) Maybe with less discretionary time for leisure we feel compelled to plan our exercise and the spontaneity factor is just not there?