I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma: part of the "Heartland." As cities go, it is small and many people are quite traditional in most aspects of life. But, just like the rest of the country, children and adults both would prefer to watch a movie, or play on the Wii versus scattering a few tiny spheres on the floor and playing a age-old game. I read here in one of the forum threads that there is going to be a marbles convention in Tulsa this month. Until I read that, I thought I was the only one in Oklahoma who enjoyed marbles at all. But even here, in this highly traditional state, tell someone you enjoy collecting, or God forbid, playing marbles, and they look at you like you have corn growing out of your ears. To most people, marbles is simply an antiquated game which no longer has a place in society.

But knowing now that there are many people who collect marbles throughout the United States, and a very few places that still have marble tournaments, I am wondering if there is any hope for the game to recover...somewhat. I have no illusions, no expectations to see local parks littered with children playing marbles, knuckles and knees covered in dirt. But it would be nice to have a few more communities where marbles tournaments are held, or groups of people meet to play and trade.

I have thought long and hard about trying to arrange something myself, via that MeetUp web site, or trying to organize something through forums such as this one. But I am a tad socially awkward, so convincing a group of people to talk about and play marbles would only be possible on a fistful of Xanax. But most people do not have my neurosis. Why is it that there are so many of us that enjoy collecting marbles, but so few communities where children and adults can find a place to PLAY marbles. Sure, a couple of people may arrange from time-to-time to meet somewhere and shoot a game, but with marbles flailing popularity, it would be nice to see a few more publicized events out there. Not only would this give more enthusiasts the chance to actually shoot marbles, but it would introduce marbles to a whole new segment of society that may otherwise not even be aware that they are still collected, played and loved by millions throughout the world.

For me, marbles are more than just beautiful glass/stone spheres to be collected, placed on a shelf and looked at. They represent people gathering together to play, to interact with one another, to laugh, to enjoy the outdoors. I have two children, one 10, the other one year old. The 10-year-old will play on occasion. The one-year-old would LOVE to get his grubby little hands on my marbles and stuff them into his mouth. Time to call 911. The baby actually shows quite a bit more interest in spheres in general, so I think there may be hope for him. But with more options than just Dad to play with, I think both of them would really enjoy playing and collecting.

It is just such a wonderful game, and there are so many beautiful marbles out there, both machine and handmade. I just hate to see them become less and less popular every year. Anyone else thought about organizing local events to actually PLAY marbles, or do people only enjoy collecting?