Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
21 May 2006
Daddy, I did it! I made the star spin!
Watching my 3-year-old boy play Toy Story on the SNES tonight, I couldn't have been much prouder. I typically start the first level and activate the invincibility cheat, then hand the controller over to the boy. Despite my earlier concerns, he's learned a good bit about how to play a platform game. In fact, he's been able to finish the first level on his own for quite a while.

Tonight was something different.

See, the cheat works by running Woody halfway through the level, jumping on a rubber ball, landing on a shelf between two other shelves, and then crouching until the star at the top of the screen starts spinning.

Tonight, the phone rang just as I fired up the SNES, and I had to go answer it. As I hung up the phone, I heard the boy exclaim "Daddy, I did it! I made the star spin!"

I ran to his side and looked at the screen. Naturally, he'd started the game on his own. More than that, he had Woody crouching on the special shelf and the star was spinning.

It's not a huge technical accomplishment, I realize. But here it is, three hours later, and I can't stop grinning every time I think of him looking up at me, controller in hand, saying "Daddy, I did it!"
--Matt Matthews at 22:45
Comment [ 6 ]

Comments on this post:

I've known a few 11 year olds who like to play video games, but really couldn't manage a platformer to save their lives. Not bad.

By Blogger JohnH, at 22 May, 2006 01:45  

Yeah, but how good is he at Lion King?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 22 May, 2006 04:07  

My 11 year old son became obsessed with Psychonauts. It was the only thing he'd do with his daily allotted videogame time until he had defeated it.

He's moved on to other games now, but I think the way he was drawn to that particular one says something about his future with the hobby. Namely, that he can spot a good videogame when he sees it.

By Blogger BruceC, at 23 May, 2006 14:12  

aw, that's just the cutest thing i ever heard. i hope i can be that proud one day. lol

By Blogger Maharet, at 26 May, 2006 01:41  

It's funny how our kids are able to elicit such joy in us when the pride factor kicks in.

I recall his scream of joy when he finished the first Forsaken Fortress level of Wind Waker (when you skulk around in a barrel). He was thrilled when he reached the little sister, but then got real disappointed when he got tossed out to sea without being able to put up a fight. Although I tried explaining to him that he had succeeded nontheless, it's hard for a kid to understand.

By Blogger Citizen Wii, at 26 May, 2006 15:29  

my four year old loves cars and naturally loves car games. I got him need for speed hot pursuit 2 becuase its so easy to get into and just play. He is GREAT at it - even being the cop and calling in for help to stop other cars.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 27 May, 2006 09:41  

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