Think back to your childhood. How often did you spend time playing outside? I remember as a kid, a time where technology wasn't as advanced and smart phones weren't around, the amount of time I spent outside the house playing games was pretty high. During the school year and summer time, my friends and I wouldn't go home until it was too dark to see.
Unfortunately, times have changed. Today, kids are more invested in their video games than we'd like. Too often we find their heads tilted down, thumbs ready to fire, with 110% of their attention on an iPhone screen. The sad part is that they're not the only ones. They learn by watching us. We're not leading by example. It's not hard to look around at tables in a restaurant and see all members of the family hooked on a screen that makes them more "connected" than the loved ones around them.
It's time we did our part to help the individuals that are doing what they can to encourage kids to go outside and play. We've reached a level that it's beyond the fact that they'll have fun playing games. It's about making sure that they get the much needed exercise, as the rise of child obesity is getting out of control.
Judd King is well aware of the numbers. A teacher, and an Eagle Scout, Judd has found a way to ignite a want to play outside. Instead of recreating the wheel, he has expanded on a classic outdoors game that aims to keep the younger generation outside and in play mode. However, the twist that he has put on the game allows kids to stay outdoors and engaged, even in the dark.
What's the classic game I'm talking about? Capture the Flag. A game that we are all well familiar with. Judd's spin on it doesn't change the structure of the game, rather the time of the day it's played. He calls his concept of the game Capture the Flag REDUX, which is meant to be played in the dark. As Judd puts it, "Rather than capturing a flag, players steal glowing Orbs of Light. Imagine flashing red 'War Lights' forming borders between territories, and envision players wearing luminous wristbands to identify team loyalties."
With LED lights lighting up the orbs, teams can set up their territories, hide their team Orb, and know who's who in the darkness. The REDUX kit comes with "over fifty game pieces: Two Orbs, eight Prison Markers, six War Lights, forty Glow Wrist Bands, batteries, and an instruction book." To top it off, the REDUX is not only oriented towards Capture the Flag, Judd has set up the kit in a way that it can be utilized for other games, such as Werewolves & Hunters, Mr. President, and more.
As Judd puts it, "Capture the Flag REDUX inspires individuals to spend time outdoors, collaborate, and embark upon a futuristic experience. It celebrates stealth, strategy and teamwork. And it offers something fun, safe and active to do after nightfall." When I spoke to him, he emphasized the significance of the game for him during his childhood. He also explained the importance of getting kids outside and keeping them active, and that's why he is pursuing this idea.
The REDUX has a lot of potential and could become a valuable asset for many programs and households that are working towards keeping kids active in the evenings. It's a product that parents can take an advantage of, not only for their kids, but for themselves as well. Not only will it open up the opportunity to get the kids outside, but for us to put down our smart gear as well and spend some much needed time with them. You'll be surprised how much of kid you have left in you.
Overall, expanding on a classic game to help keep kids active POPs.
Capture the Flag REDUX's Campaign Page
Capture the Flag REDUX's Website