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The superpowers of imagination

purple's picture

Most of my childhood play memories involve made up games. My best friend and I would constantly dream up games to play in the playground or to pass time while we were sitting on the forty minute bus ride on our way home from school. One of our favorite games to play was one we made up, called spy girls. We we were some sort of super hero-spy hybrid possessing every super power we could imagine and even came up with code names for each other. We spent endless hours at the playground and in our houses giving new lives to people and structures, making them part of our pretend world. Innocent bystanders at the playground became the villains we hid from or victims in need of saving, and the slides and swings became unfathomable obstacles. I remember we would sometimes have to “pause” our game and slip back into the real world when a parent called us to go back inside, as if we were sitting in front of a TV, playing a video game. 

Recently, while babysitting I was reminded of the memories of playing made up games. I was amazed at how the three year old I was looking after was able to construct wild stories with just the dolls and blocks she was playing with. She always tried to make me be part of her game, but constantly got mad as I played the character's role wrong. Just like in my memory,  I am not sure how we kept coming up with new scenarios or how we could go on forever making up new parts to the story. There must have been something exciting about having the ability to imagine our way in an out of every situation. What I do remember is that we watched a lot of Powerpuff Girls, loved to read spy books, and that there was certainly a lot to aspire to be like in the world of super hero-spies.