Thursday, September 3, 2015

v45.1 :: Things My Kids Taught Me

Having children can be one of the most rewarding experience in a parent's life.  Know that person is made up of the same things that make up you can be exciting and frightening at the same time.  While we, as parents, have a duty and obligation to raise our children and teach them, there are moments where we are also taught by our children.

-slurp-

I used to think I was "cool".  I used to look at my parents and see "old" and vowed that I would never be like that when I grow up.  Well here I sit several decades later and while I still think I'm that "hip" dad, my teenage children quickly remind me how "old" I really am.  But this old dog has learned a few new tricks over the years, thanks to those kids.

There is more to YouTube than cat and dog videos

youtubeIt's true!  I used to think YouTube was good for posting videos of your cat or dog doing silly antics.  Often you would find how-to videos or do-it-yourself type clips, but little did I know there was a vast world of young entertainers out there spanning all sorts of different subjects.  Take gaming for example.  There are "kids" out there making decent money reviewing and playing video games.  Who would have thought that playing a video game would actually let someone make money?  This has spawned off sites like Twitch and more recently, Google's YouTube for game streaming.  Gaming and computer companies will pay these young people to play their game, give their reviews and in some cases, even provide them with the hardware to do it.  The more popular you are on YouTube, the more money you can make.  It's unreal!

-slurp-

Video Games based on Lego are fun!

Minecraft_logoI'm not talking about the Lego genre of video games here, I'm talking about games like Minecraft or what is commonly referred to as the "Sandbox" genre where you build things.  While these games are "games" on the surface, deep down they teach a lot about designing and gathering.  My children taught me how to play Minecraft and showed me that chopping down a tree would give me wood, that would could be turned into planks and those planks could be used to make wooden sticks.  I could also dig into the ground and find ore like Iron or Gold which could be smelt into bars.  Then the wooden sticks could be combined with Iron or Gold to make hand tools or weapons.

I'm not foreign to the concept of crafting things in video games, but the way Minecraft does it takes time to learn and remember the layouts required to make the various items available.  In fact, everything in Minecraft can be made in one way or another, you just need to gather all the materials do it.  Now I run a Minecraft server for my kids and I to play one and we've built a decent sized Minecraft village we use as our base of operations as we go out and explore the world.  It really is quite amazing.

-slurp-

There are songs about Sideburns and Space Unicorns

sideburnsThis one is for my daughter who introduced me to several songs that I had never head before.  A lot of these artists will take a well-known song and create a video game spoof from it.  A lot of the ones I've heard over the years have to deal with Minecraft or Warcraft, but there are so many of these out there I wouldn't be surprised if they spanned every game.

I must admit, a lot of these songs are played/sung by very talented young people.  Some have even gone on to become quite famous among the younger generation.  I had no idea half of these songs even existed and it if hadn't been for my children, I would have been saved from the scars they have given me.

-slurp-

Whether I want to admit it or not, I am growing older; but like my mother always says, "I may get older but I'll never grow up.".  My kids will continue to teach me things I never knew existed and they will continue to define what is "cool"; just as I did when I was young.

Cheers,

Al