How would you describe video games? Fun, entertaining, competitive, addictive, escape mechanism, time-suck? Or "all of the above"?
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Video games are played by all ages, ranging from kids to senior citizens, but that doesn't matter to Red, who has never been remotely interested in them, while Black is fascinated with them – from a business perspective.
Red knows very little about video games nor had any desire to learn about them, let alone play them. Although she remembers Pac-Man being a very popular video arcade game when she was in college and the introduction of Nintendo's portable gaming machine, that's the extent of it. She admits that she was a geek in school, but she's never been a techie, and considers her computer a necessary evil and can't imagine using it or her phone to play games.
I don't get it. Or, maybe I'm old-fashioned. But if I have any spare time (ha-ha-ha), I'm going to grab a book and find a quiet place to escape and read. Not spend more time on a computer (or other gizmos) doing something that requires me to pay attention and results in me being "rewarded" with noises and flashing lights, or whatever video games do! Luckily, neither of my daughters is into them, which may explain why I'm so clueless about video games. In fact, I only know they're big business because Black has told me so.
Actually, Black has told her more than that, but because Red wasn't interested, it didn't stick with her (funny how our brain does that). Black didn't expect her to remember the various statistics she found fascinating or the details of how Pac-Man expanded the video game audience from being predominately adult males to include women and children, and has stood the test of time. Or, even that many of the skills needed to be a successful gamer (ranging from critical thinking to problem-solving) have real-life applications.
But Black did think Red might remember the article she forwarded (if she read it) about how the U.S. State Department announced its' video game diplomacy program as a fun and effective way to bring together students from the United States with students in Israel, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain – to jointly develop and create social impact video games, while also learning more about each other's respective culture and beliefs.
Of course, Red, while intellectually appreciating all the things that Black finds so interesting about video games, still wasn't "sold", so Black decided to take a slightly different approach,
I recently read an interesting article that said that video games "need more badass middle-aged women." Although I am more sarcastic than badass … as we explore what direction for Red & Black to take next, what about a video game with its central characters being a super nice, warm and fuzzy mom "doing battle" with her sarcastic, racecar driving, sister?
Now that got Red's attention!
We grew up in New York, where bagels are almost sacred, but even though they may have started as a Jewish food in Europe, they’re now enjoyed by everyone everywhere (including Red and Black, but in very different ways) – why else would there be a National Bagel Day?
National holidays aren’t the time to count calories.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We both agree that happiness has a hole in it, although one of us may only eat one bagel a year while the other tries to keep it to only one bagel when she does indulge.
Red admits that although she knows bagels aren’t a healthy choice, she’ll occasionally treat herself, not only because they remind her of growing up in New York when almost every town on Long Island had at least one bagel shop, but because she loves whipped cream cheese almost as much as the fresh, squishy bagel on which she smears it. And while she was a fan of both cinnamon raisin and onion bagels as a kid, the introduction of the “Everything” bagel was a turning point. However, her all-time favorite is technically not a bagel, as it’s a bialy.
On the other hand, it only takes one look at Black’s “selfishly svelte figure” to know that she has the willpower to resist bagels (including her favorite, sesame) as well as all the other carbs that she loves, but when it comes to National Bagel Day and the “health” issues of bagels, she has an interesting perspective,
Bagels are one of life’s true culinary pleasures, often tied to wonderful memories, so you cannot always measure their value in terms of nutrition. But, when it comes to healthy eating, it might be interesting to remember that bagel-cutting injuries are common and result in thousands of people having to go to emergency rooms or urgent care centers … so, celebrate carefully.
Another year and another National Clean Your Desk Day (yes, that’s actually a thing). So, is Red’s desk any better than the “disaster” it was last year? Well, believe it or not, it may not be perfect, but it’s significantly better. Is it because she finally listened to Black’s advice (see below) or somehow found a “secret” of her own? As it turns out, it was a combination of the two as Red discovered, even if the rest of her life isn’t “nice and neat” (that’ll never happen), she loves walking into her workroom in the morning and starting the day in a (somewhat) organized space, which provides the best motivation for keeping it that way. (Luckily, Black never brought up the science of messy desks.)
A day to clean up your desk?! It will take way more than a day …
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: No one is immune from piles of paper, not even Black, the master of organization, but there’s a huge difference between a desk with a few small piles and some scattered papers (although her laptop’s keyboard needs serious cleaning) and Red’s “workroom” that usually looks like a tornado hit it.
Which is why Red rolled her eyes when Black mentioned today’s National Clean Your Desk Day, as it’d take her significantly more than a day to “clean up this mess,” but then she remembered Black’s advice on how to keep her piles (and piles) of paper under control and felt inspired. Red admits often feeling like she’s drowning in paper, but that’s because she lets the piles get out of control before reminding herself of Black’s very easy, straightforward approach to turning her mountains of paper into small manageable hills. And, significantly reducing stress along the way, because as Black points out,
Sometimes, it is more important to know what you are ignoring than it is to deal with everything in the piles.
What can you, a superhero, and corporate America have in common?
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: If someone said “Superman” to you, we suspect that you’d probably be like Red, who thinks of the comic book character, although a few people might be like Black, who immediately thought of … mission statements. (Really! You can’t make this stuff up!)
Red will admit that she managed to survive the first 40+ years of her life without knowing what a mission statement even was. After all, she was a stay-at-home, self-proclaimed, warm and fuzzy mom, so why should she care about what’s obviously a business concept? On the other hand, she’d love to tell you all about her childhood memories of coming home from school and watching reruns of the black and white Superman TV series from the 1950s starring George Reeves. (She’d point out that it was many years after they were first released, and then mention for those who remember the Superman movies with Christopher Reeve, that the two actors weren’t related and spelled their last names differently).
Fast forward to when Red was going through her “crisis” (her word, not Black’s). Black introduced the concept of mission statements to her – but not in terms of her concept and business plan for Red & Black, the company. Instead, it was when Black was out of town for a weekend racing her Ferrari,
During my years in corporate life, I wrote many mission statements, but it never dawned on me to write a personal one. Until this weekend. And before you ask, a mission statement is a short paragraph, or sometimes just a concise sentence, that summarizes the purpose of the business and what is most important to the company. This weekend, I found myself wanting, not the usual list of racing goals or objectives, but a sense of my reason for being. And a mission statement, if used correctly, does exactly that … it communicates focus and helps keep a sense of direction.
But what’s the connection to Superman? For Black, it was obvious. She remembered that in late 2021, Superman’s “mission statement” was evolving yet again – from the well-known fighting for “Truth, Justice and the American Way” to “Truth, Justice and a Better Tomorrow.” Yes, the change was most likely driven by the fact the Superman character does well internationally, so why restrict it to the “American Way,” although it was also a way to distance Superman from American politics?
Red, the lover of history, was fascinated to learn that Superman’s “American Way” only originated during the 1940s as part of the World War II effort, not as part of the original comic books of the 1930s, but when she thinks of Superman,
For me, Superman is pure entertainment. Not political. Not a business model. Although I can see where he’s inspirational, regardless of the specific slogan or mission statement. And I admit, it could make you think about your own mission statement.