Peter, having finished his breakfast, wandered into the office this morning as I was eating breakfast in front of the computer. (They often eat their breakfast in front of their favorite TV shows while I nibble on mine while staring at the computer. Nature or nurture, it doesn’t matter…)
“I wanna play worlaworlawarcraff!” he exclaimed excitedly.
That’s right, on occasion while I’ve been playing my favorite computer game, World of Warcraft, Peter has sometimes sat on my lap and watched me play. Telling me to kill the ‘piders, get the bad guys (who he knows light up in red), ride the dragon (“show me his eyes,” he always asks, for some inscrutable reason, and I rotate the camera around and oblige him). It is fun to play with him sometimes but he can get very demanding (“no, the brown horse!” “get that bad guy!” “go flying again”) and I’m conscious of yet more screen-staring time that I should probably try to limit.
“Maybe in a little bit, buddy,” I told him, minimizing the game to the taskbar so that he wouldn’t see that I actually had had it up on the screen. “Let me put my plate in the sink.” I grabbed the remnants of my breakfast and passed by him on the way to the kitchen.
As I returned to the office, Peter says, “Wook, daddy! I did it. I did the worlaworlawarcraff. See?” He is half standing on my chair and pointing proudly at the computer monitor. Huh? The game is on the screen.
“Peter,” say I, slightly flabbergasted. “How did you get the game on the screen?”
He points to the mouse and pantomimes moving it around and clicking things. “I use dat an’ I pick da worlaworlawarcraft.”
That’s right. This not-quite-3-year-old grabbed the mouse, moved it over to where he saw the familiar icon for the game on the taskbar, and successfully clicked it. Yesterday we saw him on the iPad, after he watched the YouTube video we showed him, scrolling through the list of videos on the right hand side after the video was over.
This is why all of our kids, generation after generation, can kick our butt with any new technology.