I thought about this story reading today’s New York Times, which railed against the death of streetball. There are all types of street games we played when we were young–tag, frozen tag, hide and go seek, kickball, dodgeball, four square, two square, monkey in the middle, running bases, etc. Cobb’s written about some of the ones he played in Cali.What I was most interested in wasn’t the argument blaming the death of stickball on videogames. There is something to this–videogames privatize playspace and to the extent they generate networks those networks are national rather than local. But the fascinating thing to me is the generation of two responses. The first is the generation of adult stickball/kickball/dodgeball leagues. And the second is the creation of specialized events that adults use as opportunities to teach these games to kids.THere’s a heavy dose of nostalgia here that the NYT journalist recognizes. There’s nothing inherently “magical” or “gameworthy” about getting someone out by hitting them with a ball (as in the case of dodgeball and kickball). What we’re doing in these cases are trying to recapture a moment in time that we thought was golden, while forgetting all of the pain that came with it.But yet and still I think one of the reasons we’re so fearful about letting our kids out of our sight is that the kids don’t have the same local social network that we had. And we generate a feedback loop by scheduling playdates, putting our kids in the Y, and sending them to a variety of summer camps, rather than letting them develop their own mechanisms of dealing with the world around them.