I love me some cracky, brain-liquefying video games as much as the next middle-aged man-child in a state of hopeless arrested development (which he romanticizes by embracing the fiction that playing Overwatch until 3 a.m. signals some vital, puckish, youthful élan), but, uh, yeah, I do wonder whether this era of immersive digitalia is creating a generational wave of drooly and glaze-eyed slothchildren. Sometimes it seems like we’ve forgotten that we live in bodies, that we are bodies.
I’m happy to see my dystopian pessimism challenged by this month’s feature, “ More Than Child’s Play,” by Matt Jacob (p. 50). Las Vegas, you may have noticed, is suddenly a sports town all up in here, and this new look is more than a mere cosmetic spackling. Evidence: the Cambrian explosion of community-grown youth sports programs and organizations dedicated to activating young bodies and minds. And this isn’t an isolated phenom taking place parallel to Knights fever and Raiders mania. Better yet, there’s a kind of goodwill connectivity at work here that speaks volumes about the character of our valley’s professional sports teams. For example, both the Vegas Golden Knights and Las Vegas Lights have formed partnerships with our youth leagues, offering inspiration and instruction — and, of course, big shiny sports stardom dreams that may not be that far out of reach. It reinforces the fact that Vegas’ underrated sense of community extends even to the realm of competitive sports. Hey, maybe the kids are alright.