Dropping out of school to play video games proffesionally: What we can learn

Let's get something straight before I go any further. I like video games a lot. I have been playing video games as a serious hobby since my parents bought an NES in my toddler years. I picked up that controller, made Mario jump, and never looked back. It has been, and continues to be, a serious hobby of mine, and I naturally take it pretty seriously. More on that in future posts. In the meantime, I'd like to direct you to a story that has polarized gamers around the world, started some of the most intense parenting flame wars (the best kind, btw) I have seen, and has a lot of people rethinking the nature of the video game as a hobby, an art form, and an industry.

Now, the article itself is not the greatest source of information here because, let's face it, the media as a whole is in agreement that Grand Theft Auto is corrupting our children and making them violent, psychotic murderers. Infinitely more informative is what this Blake fellow has to say for himself. In a forum on scorehero.com, a website devoted to Guitar Hero and its players, a flame war has erupted amongst the members (Really????) on the subject of Blake and his career plans. Right in the middle of the pyromania, Blake steps forward using a friend's username and talks a little about his decision. Read for yourself (his comments are at the end of the page).

This kid clearly has his head on his shoulders. It's a well-written, thought out approach to his decision and his parents' support. While this raises all kinds of questions about homeschooling, parenting, the public school system, video games, and competitive gaming, I hope it causes people to step back and take a more mature, intellectually honest approach to what video games are, and especially what they aren't. I think I've written enough for you to think about for now. I have a lot more to say on the subject, but not enough time to get it all out. More later.

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