Show & Tell

by Jonathan Lawrence    March 15, 2013

Lessons from a 35-year-old toy game.

Yesterday our team had breakfast with the always incredibly kind and wise, Alina Wheeler. As a member of our advisory board, Alina usually visits the office a few times a year, and I always look forward to getting to spend time with her and hear her thoughts. Prior to our meeting, she asked us to bring an interesting object from home to share with the team.

My object was a game called “Football 2.” My dad gave this to me when I was 5 or 6 years old. We would always play against other, passing the game back and forth. Here’s a few reasons why I love this game and brought it to share:

1. It’s Simple
The design of the game is extremely minimal. On-screen, tiny little red dots represent the players and the ball. You control those dots with 8 colored buttons – score, status, kick, pass, and 4 directions to run. No extra fluff. No options to post your score on Facebook. Just the essentials. I think Alina put it best when she said “What more do you need in life than the score, the status, and kick, pass or run.”

2. It’s Made To Last
It seems like most things made today only last a year or two until the next cool thing comes around. This game was made in 1978. It’s 35 years old! And it still runs off a simple 9-volt battery. And if it breaks down, there’s some great advice on the back – “Try a fresh battery.” That’s right folks, no updates, no downloads, just pop a new 9-volt in there and you’re back at it.

3. The Power of Sound
Lastly, this game makes the best sounds. All kickoffs and touchdowns have amazing little jingles that take me back to being a kid, playing this game on my bed. It’s incredible how sound can really attach itself to a memory and a feeling that lasts forever.


Truthfully, I probably haven’t even thought about the concept of “show and tell” since grade school, but this was such a great exercise to learn a little more about everyone on the team and hear their stories.

If you have a few moments to spare, I encourage you to do it at your office.
What object would you bring, and why?

2 thoughts on “Show & Tell”

  1. Show and tell is a wonderful way to share stories and insights about things and ideas that are meaningful. I loved being with the Matchstic team, and hearing about which objects inspired them and why. I keep on thinking about the ease of navigation–and the friendly tone of the advice about the batteries. There’s a lot to be learned from this 35 year old game.

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