I recently started playing Draw Something. It’s a free game for iPhone and Facebook in which you and a friend take turns guessing what the other person drew. It’s like Words With Friends in that you can juggle 10 games at once, but it’s much better. Receiving a goofy Spider-Man sketch because your partner had to draw “VENOM” is much better than returning to a Words With Friends board to find out your friend has spelled “VENOM” on a triple word tile and now you’re down 50 points and you just realized you hate this stupid game anyway.
When I first started playing Draw Something, I didn’t know anybody else who played, so I let the game partner me up with strangers. The thing is, I’m pretty sure those strangers were much younger than me. At least, I’m assuming they’re younger because I imagine teenagers just wander through the internet like lost babies stumbling through a shopping mall, just wide-eyed and lost and not paying attention, so of course they’d play most of their online games with total strangers.
Anyway, in one of my matches with some probably-teenager, my partner had to sketch the word “NOTEPAD.” But the thing is, she drew two laptops. She drew one laptop, erased it, then drew a second, slightly better laptop. I figured out these laptops were supposed to be a notepad based on the letters I could use to spell the answer.
This isn’t the first time “NOTEPAD” has come up for me in Draw Something. I’ve seen friends draw a notepad before. People usually just draw spiral notebooks. People who’ve used paper before, I mean.
I mean, if she didn’t think of a paper notepad when she saw the word “NOTEPAD,” why did she draw a laptop? Maybe she thought “notebook” and drew a notebook, but not the paper notebook that people in powdered wigs wrote in with quill pens, but instead, she drew the laptop version the way only a young person would?
I mean, is this just a generational thing? I’m on the older end of Generation Y, a generation known for its media obsession and penchant for texting, but I still wrote in paper workbooks in elementary school. I didn’t get my own computer until college. I learned fucking cursive. I’m young, but I’m not that young.
It’s possible that my Draw Something partner wasn’t a teenager. She had a Japanese first name, so maybe she just speaks English as a second language. But how weird is that? On the internet, I can’t tell the difference between American teenagers and anyone in Japan practicing English.
So, I guess I can file paper notepads under “Things some people don’t know about”, right next to drive-in movie theaters and Coke in green glass bottles, because a crude sketch of a laptop just made me feel like an old man.