110: Your Parents Help You Hook It Up (History)

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In July of 1983, the world was introduced to the Nintendo Entertainment System. Not the first product of its kind by a long shot, but it’ll serve fine as a starting point for the purposes of this post. A line from a NES commercial really struck me when I heard it watching “Video Game: The Movie.” That line is the namesake of this post. This immediately made me think back to my first video game console, the SNES, and how my dad would have to set the console up for me in my youth. I was intimidated by the amount of cables, ports, switches, etc., not to mention half the weight of the tv’s the console needed to be hooked up to. This would probably be the last time he’d help me solve a technological issue.

Eventually, I’d get older, and the video game systems weren’t hooking up the same way as they used to. It became up to me if I wanted to keep playing the latest systems. The hardware setup wasn’t really the difficult part, match the colors and shapes, then insert this plug into that hole. But when it finally came time to set up my xbox live account, I could tell things were out of my parents league, and I was on my own. Fast forward to today and the story of the parent helping the child has been flipped. Now I not only hook all my own systems up, I set up his e-mails to work with his cell phones, the netflix on his smart tv, the roku box and chromecast for the family televisions. To this day, I’ve built three computers, with parts I’ve ordered with my own money and researched on my own time.

All this started with a gradual increase in interest with technology thanks to video games. I’m far handier with a computer system than my parents will likely ever be. This is due to me being exposed by my parents to what they initially know at an age where I was still learning. I eventually surpassed them and went places they had never even intended for me to be able to. Nowadays I look at my two little cousins, 7 and 9 respectively, how they used to play games on their dads cell phone, and I think just how much they’ll surpass me when they’re my age. When I was their age, I was playing licensed arcade sidescrollers where your controls were walk, jump, and attack. I can pass them the controller in the middle of a combat scene in an Arkham game, and they’ll combo, counter, dodge, grapple, and use gadgets just as well as me. Games are getting smarter, and kids are getting smarter with them.

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