When I bought my son Wii Lego Star Wars for his birthday this spring, it was something of a leap of faith. He’d shown only a passing interest in the films, and his limited attention span didn’t really seem to lend itself to the long-term gameplay necessary to navigate oneself through this kind of a thing. That notwithstanding, my hope was that he’d not only learn to enjoy the game and the storyline behind it, but also be able to use the game – and his ability to think and talk about it – as a way to find common ground with his peers.

(That’s an autism spectrum thing. Peer-to-peer social relationships can be tough, and even when kids want to talk to their classmates… they may not know how to initiate, or what to say, or how to respond when others talk to them. My kinda-sorta-it’d-be-cool-if-it-worked-out-this-way idea was that Lego Star Wars might provide some kind of contextual framework to help make that happen.)

Anyhow, after about four months of ignoring the game, he finally started paying attention and playing about a month and a half ago. He’s now obsessively working his way through it… and, predictably, I’m getting sucked in as well. And as we’ve stood there, side-by-side in our basement, fucking up stormtroopers and drones, a few parallels between the game and this whole parenting… thing… have popped into my head. May I share my observations? I may? Thank you. You’re too kind.

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