The oldest Geeklet started playing World of Warcraft when he was two years old. I had my computer desk in the kitchen at that time (biiiig kitchen) and had walked away from the game to change someone else’s diaper or something. When I got back, there he was, up on my chair, click- click- clicking away. You know how new parents kinda view their first kid as a feather in their cap – a super cool toy that eats and poops and pees and has a mind of it’s own? So my reaction was, Ooh! This could be a great conversation starter! “Hey, my two-year-old plays World of Warcraft!” “What? Your two-year-old plays World of Warcraft?!” Yeah.
But, seriously, is it ever too young to start playing WoW?
World of Warcraft is like the Shakespeare of the Third Millenium.
No, really. Listen. WoW has history. It has humor. It has narrative, back-story, and depth. It has inside jokes. It has pop culture. It has great sets and costumes. It is ridiculous and awesome, and it’s ridiculousness adds to it’s awesomeness. It is entertainment at it’s best. If the Bard could have been part of it, he would have been proud. The playing of WoW adds another layer of nerdiness to any already nerdy nerd. Just start talking specs and stats to any raider, hard-core or otherwise, and you’ll get blown away by just how nerdy these World of Warcraft nerds are.
And if there is one thing a kid will need to survive, to achieve, to succeed as an adult in the world of the future, it is . . . nerdiness.
To know how to click a mouse, to associate a blinking cursor with infinite possibilities of coding or composition, to interpret the sad “You Have Died” message on the screen as a challenge to excel next time; this is nerdiness.
To know how to learn, to self-teach rather than be taught, to drive oneself rather than be pushed; this is nerdiness.
To want to figure it out; to want to know how stuff works; to want to make that THING called a computer (or game, or stack of blocks, or lump of clay, or pencil) do what you want it to do, because you know you can, and because, by George, you’re not going to stop trying until you get it right; this is nerdiness.
Nerdiness is good. Not only that, it is essential.
This is why, after Geeklet Number One got the hang of playing WoW, SuperDad and I insisted he learn how to share with Geeklet Number Two. Thus began World (of Warcraft) War III.
I think it started the day Geeklet Number Two found his way to the flypoint in Ironforge and spent the rest of his turn in WoW burning through the gold I’d sent the Geeklets’ toon, by flying back and forth from Ironforge to Dun Morogh. Oh, I’m in Ironforge? I think I’ll click on that gryphon there and see where I can go. Only one option? Oh, yeah, that’s right, because my toon has never been anywhere else in this world, since I’m only two years old and I don’t understand maps or getting around in an MMORPG yet – wait, I’m in Dun Morogh already. That was a short flight. Did I miss something? No? Well, ok, let’s see what else I can do. Hey, there’s a gryphon here, too. I think I’ll click on it. Ooooh, it looks like I can make it do something and – hey, there I go again! Boy, this is so darn cool. I can’t wait to tell my teddy bear how cool this is. I can fly! I can – oh, it stopped again. Back inside the mountain. It would be really dark in here except for all the glowing molten metal in that hole in the floor. I guess that’s why it’s called Ironforge. Hey, there’s a gryphon here! I think I’ll click on it . . .
And on, and on. Finally, Geeklet Number One got tired of watching this mad dance, picked up the mouse, and beaned his little brother with it. I’m not going to tell you what happened next, except that it resulted in the “X” and “F9” keys winding up in the pasta sauce, and I had to buy a new monitor.
As I recovered from forcing a truce upon my unwilling offspring that fine day, I reflected on why the heck I had ever let any tiny versions of SuperDad get their sticky hands on my peripherals. A few weeks later, I realized: if the kids of today don’t get familiar with technology, and with all that term encompasses, while they are young, they will have no place in the world of tomorrow. They’ll be forever behind the curve in learning, in doing, in inventing, in achieving. In short, they will be lost.