Children are often very enterprising if the end goal is an X-box One or BTS tickets…
Children always seem to have their own agenda and when you are in a work/nolife spurt of busyness you sometimes have only a tenuous hold on what the latest thing is. Take only son. He is known as Tech Kid in our house. He has entire conversations with me that I don’t understand at all. Something about HDMI cables and ether net, Super Mario shortcuts and some such. It goes completely over my head and I have tried, I really have, to be interested, but I last about 10 seconds in Super Mario and then fall into a crevasse never to emerge again.
Only son is preparing for Christmas and every day he is looking at ways around the essential problem that we can’t afford an Xbox 1. He has cast his eye around the entire contents of the house and reckons he could sell most of it on eBay. He has plans to set up his own restaurant, selling spaghetti bolognaise and toast, the two dishes he is expert at cooking. I spent an evening ‘laminating’ menus [basically covering them in sellotape] with him. The boy is an entrepreneur in training and his older sister is also on the lookout for extra cash for a BTS ticket next year. She is very good at planning ahead and is attempting to milk any contacts I have for babysitting gigs, though all my friends now have teenagers like her. Her latest ploy is to forego school dinners and get me to give her a percentage of the money saved, minus the cost of sandwich ingredients.
Our house is like an episode of Only Fools and Horses. People are always trying to sell me some sort of dodgy deal…
I suggested to only son that his best bet was to seek out the rich kids in his class and befriend them in the hopes that they have lots of old Nintendo games they can give him. “But what would I give them?” he reasoned. We went into a games exchange shop the other week with loads of DVDs [some still in the cellophane] and he was really, really hopeful we would be able to buy the latest Super Mario game, priced around 20 quid. We got 13p for the DVDs. “Would you like that as a voucher or in cash?” the assistant asked. We took the 13 one pence coins and left the shop a little bit deflated.
I also suggested that only son start a games library at school, but he was not overly optimistic. And I’ve got him onto a coding site to create his own games [“more original than Nintendo”], but that didn’t get him very far. Instead, he watches Youtube tutorials on taking old computers apart and souping them up. One day this will all pay off and he will be an amazing computer scientist.
It’s interesting that none of the girls have gone down this route. I’m not sure if it is a generational thing. All the Youtubers of their generation seemed to be about politics or anxiety or make-up. Only son started slowly with Evantube and endless food ‘challenges’, migrating to the guy with the purple hair who plays games and developed from there. I’d be interested in a gender analysis of Youtubers and what their channel specialises in. I’m sure it is having a big influence on attitudes to tech.