The English adage or the proverb which says “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy” should not be taken lightly. The reason is that, games which are normally regarded as “small games” play a very weighty role on mankind.
These are games such as computer games, television games and even old traditional games.
Most people in their life journey have played at least a single game. Even most of the modern cell phones have games as an added accessory. It goes on to show their significance to daily living.
Games have been there for centuries. Psychologists perceive games as one of the techniques of trying to re create oneself, to increase one’s mental capability, at the same time having fun while freeing one’s mind from the daily hurdles.
However, some people seem to view these games with a negative eye and associate them with children. Some view them as a waste of time and complete rubbish.
In Botswana, one can attest to the fact that there are plenty of traditional games that have been played for many years.
Games such as Morabaraba, Mmele or even Diketo, which were known to be played mostly in rural parts of the country, continue to be played even by older people. Modern games have also chipped in and people can afford to buy them for themselves and their children.
Benco Ookeditse of Mathangwane village, 33, feels that games should not be viewed with negativity because they are good for relaxation and good for the mind.
“Growing up in a village in Mathangwane village during my earlier days as a herd boy, we used to play games such as Mmele or African Chess as they call it. As I am speaking with you today I still play it with my friends during weekends even at bars and there is nothing to be shy about although I am a grown man. Games help refresh my mind,” he says.
He further blames technology for killing the local traditional games adding that it is sad that these games are slowly vanishing.
Onkatswitse Sparks Tsimanyana of Tati Siding Village, who is 40, is also quick to admit that he still plays games. He adds that due to his busy schedule as a builder and a farmer, he never finds time to play them because he is always engaged.
“I have to admit that I love games, particularly our local Mmele game, but unfortunately I never have ample time to play them because I am always busy. Sometimes I feel that they are just a waste of my valuable time but I do not have a problem with them anyway,” Tsimanyana says.
He also admits that he sometimes plays games in his mobile phone especially when he is relaxing in his bed before he sleeps or when travelling.
“My cellphone has many interesting games and I do play them at times, especially when I am relaxing at home and even when I am travelling in a bus,” he adds.