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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Parents Sometimes Worry Needlessly

This is a personal story, aimed toward parents who are worried that their children are playing too many computer games.

When my son was young..., younger, I took a college level programming language called Pascal. I used the computers at the college during the evenings and because I was so poor and couldn’t afford a babysitter, I took my son, who was around seven years at the time, to college after school. While I programmed, he played games on the Apple 2c’ computers.

When asked what he wanted for Christmas, he asked for a computer. I bought him a Commodore 64 and my dad bought him a floppy drive. They were sold separately way back then and harddrives didn’t exist. My sister bought him books that had little games to type into the computer, save on a floppy and play.

As my son grew, we continued to buy him games and update hardware to his Commodore, but eventually he outgrew the little computer when harddrives became available and Commodore didn’t advance into the area fast enough. I replaced his little variety computer with a 486 VISA Gateway, CDROM, 100 MB harddrive, 66MHz. He was around fourteen at the time and heavy into play games. As he grew older he became, what I thought was overly interested in role-playing games both on the computer and off, but I didn’t discourage, thinking that this was going to go somewhere. He was still learning computers.

He entered college into computers, but it became a farce, since he was teaching the professors new tricks. After college he returned home, still playing games and he had just turned eighteen. So on it went buying and trading and borrowing games for the computer and upgrading his computers and the money continued to go out.

Now, ten years later, he still plays games and runs a mobile computer repair business on the side, while working at his regular job in the fishing industry, writing novels and keeping his fanfic fans happy on his website.

The reason for this post is because there is a new gamer on the market, Jared Kim, a nineteen-year-old Berkeley dropout who, like my son, played games. But to his credit, he designed a website called WeGame, that provides both the place and the tools for gamers to share screencasts of their favorite in-game moments.

***WeGame launches as Youtube for gamers***

“The launch of WeGame is like launching YouTube and giving everyone video cameras, because WeGame not only provides a place to upload and share videos, it provides the tools necessary to create the video content itself,” states Kim.

Kim and his team of four have been working on WeGame for six months and have raised $500,000 from True Ventures and Naval Ravikant’s HitForge.

So, for all you parents who are worried about the amount of time your children spend on playing games, remember that it might just work into a full-time high paying job, of which you can be proud of.


jadey said...

My oldest daughter loves to be on the computer and plays all sorts of games. She would be on it constantly but I have limited the time to just weekends and no more than an hour per day on the weekends which ofcourse from time to time certainly exceeds the limits.

Tory said...

Just thought I'd pop in for a visit. I have also done some writing for Helium. Drop by my blog sometime and leave a message.
Take care

Marja said...

My son can't live without it anymore. Brought his PSP on holiday. We try to restrict it but it is a daily battle. i think you are right. He will end up in this area I can't help thinking that he needs more interests. But who am I to say this. I could blog for days if I had the time. Shall check out that We game and your sons website