December 9, 2014

Andy Baio's Video Game Parenting Experiment FTW

ganked pacman win from andy baio on medium

Oh man, Andy Baio just won video game parenting.

If you have a kid, why not run experiments on them? It's like running experiments on a little clone of yourself! And almost always probably legal.

It's disappointing how many people have children and miss this golden opportunity...My original plan was to raise him thinking he was living in a computer simulation, but sadly, my wife vetoed it. And any other potentially harmful, but funny, life-altering scenarios.

But I managed to sneak one in anyway.

My son Eliot was born in 2004 -- the year of Half-Life 2, Doom 3, and the launch of the Nintendo DS. By the time he was born, video games were a $26B industry.

I love games, and I genuinely wanted Eliot to love and appreciate them too. So, here was my experiment:

Start with the arcade classics and Atari 2600, from Asteroids to Zaxxon. After a year, move on to the 8-bit era with the NES and Sega classics. The next year, the SNES, Game Boy, and classic PC adventure games. Then the PlayStation and N64, Xbox and GBA, and so on until we're caught up with the modern era of gaming.

Would that child better appreciate modern independent games that don't have the budgets of AAA monstrosities like Destiny and Call of Duty? Would they appreciate the retro aesthetic, or just think it looks crappy?

This is so much greater than the Which Order Do I Show The Kid Star Wars? experiment.

Playing With My Son -- Andy Baio [medium]

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