When something isn’t working, just take it out and blow into the cartridge


You’re an indoor kid. There’s no denying it. I see the way you looks at legos.

I’m going to hide this fact from you as long as possible. I can see it now- you’ll be out on the soccer field wondering why you feel so out of place amongst the seemingly ultra-coordinated midgets, and come home and ask me if you’re different. Then, in a “Harry-Potter-finds-out-he’s-a-Wizard” moment, I’ll reveal to you your true destiny as a master of all things non-perspiratory.

What I fear most is your affinity for gaming. In a metaphor you’ll already understand better than me, there’s a dark side to the force that is “indoorishness.” Having worked with kids for quite a few years, I can tell you that video games are more addictive to children than candy. CANDY! Take away a child’s access mid-Mario, and the ensuing crying fit falls somewhere between, “Bieber winked at me from the stage,” and “matriarch at a Mexican funeral.”

I think parents subconsciously weigh the cost of letting their children excessively play video games, and the decision comes down to; 1) Deal with between 1-3 epic tantrums per day, but have occupied kids and precious free time for all your other priorities, or 2) Pay attention 24/7 and worry yourself into aging quicker than Robin Williams in the movie Jack.

Here’s my plan for you: Since you already dominate the basic Smartphone-based activities like Angry Birds, Ant Smasher, and Fruit Ninja, and I can’t undo your exposure to gaming, we’ll go back and start from scratch.

You’re going to get video games, but you’re going to get them the same way that I did.

When you turn 5, you’re going to get a Nintendo equipped with Duck Hunt. You’ll get to enjoy the wonderful world of Excitebike, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Lost Vikings and Super Mario 3 (but NO flutes, cheater).

After you’ve mastered the NES, it’s time for Super Nintendo. You’ll be at least 8 by then, which is plenty old enough for NBA Jam and Mortal Kombat (don’t tell your mom). You’ll play Sonic the Hedgehog once or twice, but that won’t be enough to make you think the Sega Genesis is anything more than a cheap knockoff.

When you’re 10, you’ll get a Playstation. It will be the greatest day of your life- and apart from one weekend a few years down the road when you play Starfox on the Nintendo 64 for 48 hours straight, you’ll stick with Sony through thick and thin.

The best thing about this path, is while all of your friends have their virtual reality hover-games that have turned them into mindless zombies bereft of emotional connectivity, you’ll just have to worry about blisters on your thumbs.

You might resent me for withholding the advancements of the technological world from you, but think of it as listening to The Beatles before moving on to Mumford and Sons. The classics will only help you appreciate things more, I promise.

Plus- the most valuable lesson in life is that when something isn’t working, just take it out and blow into the cartridge.




  1. That’s awesome. Couldn’t agree more with the approach and the evaluation of video games (except for the starfox part). You will have to introduce the 2 games you and I played in your room EVERY day. Twisted metal and NFL gameday…oh yeah.
    Great stuff

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