The next generation of Geek
The fortunate people of this world learn a trade from their parents. Even more fortunate are those who learn from the best, not just hand me down skill-sets which tend to sometimes pass on some of the little ‘quirks’ that aren’t necessarily good practice. This could be an apprenticeship, or mentoring but whatever it is, I’ve always felt that it’s important for kids to learn how to do something constructive. Creation doesn’t necessarily have to do with your hands anymore, though I also think that’s important, but as long as something is being built that can be shown as an accomplishment, it makes anyone feel good to have built something. Every kid, and kid at heart, loves to say ‘hey, look what I did!’ beaming with pride over that piece of art. That’s what it is, regardless of what it looks like. So, following in my father’s footsteps of teaching me how to handle tools, I plan on doing the same thing with Luke (though he is not my biological son, he is still going to learn like one ). Every opportunity I get, I teach him what I can, how to problem solve and fix things, and just be creative. Well, this week, I’m getting to influence him even more, but by proxy.
Luke is spending this week at Game Camp USA. This ‘camp’ so loosely described is 12 hours a day of learning about and playing video games. This is the ultimate of interactive programming. He learns theory, sees how things work, and then actually writes code in Small Basic to put objects into a program. The first day he was very excited about having two blocks on the screen that could shoot things at each other. As of last night, he had also added fantastically animated graphics (for an 11 year old with no prior experience and using only his mouse, yikes), ‘heart points’ and controls, so now it’s an actual 2d game. When I picked him up last night, amidst the electricity of a room full of budding geeks glued to their game, he showed me his code and demo’d his. It was a thing of beauty.
Last night I downloaded all of the software he uses and put it on the computer, because of course, I want to continue to support this ‘hobby’. He loves it, so how could I not? So, I have a little hand in the next generation of geek. First it was MMORPG then Dr Who, now programming. I’m quite pleased with my devious plans. Now once he’s happy with that, we’ll move on to 3d game programming and modeling. To the future!