In case you missed last night’s episode of Wife Swap (and I sincerely hope you did – the show is terrible), you missed out on seeing a wife and mother who needs to dial back the escapism considerably. It was like a train wreck I couldn’t look away from.
Living with medieval-style house rules (sort of) and spending hours roleplaying as a family each evening could be a good thing, but this lady didn’t have a strong enough handle on reality to counterbalance things. She eventually admitted to being afraid of the outside world, and seemed to have pulled her entire family with her into a lifelong SCA event gone horribly wrong. Home schooling need not be a bad thing, but with this woman as the teacher, I wouldn’t keep my hopes up.
Gamer-bashing wasn’t the focus of the episode by any means, but gaming (roleplaying, in this case) was lumped in with all the other escapism as a silly idea. The swapped wife thrust into this family smashed a miniature as a penalty at one point, which seemed excessive. Later, the husband of the “modern” family described the RPG session he and his kids were forced to play as “one of the worst things I’ve ever done”. Of course, HackMaster was the RPG in question, so maybe he wasn’t exaggerating.
In all, the episode juxtaposed a family that escapes the outside world with one that spends no time with each other. In the end, the medieval, escaping-the-world family learned to be less afraid of the outside world; the overly-busy family learned to slow down and enjoy some family time (they were shown playing a card game); and I learned that my suspicions were correct, and Wife Swap is indeed a complete waste of time.