Articles of Interest for 28 March

Two articles that jumped out at me today. Both brought up memories from my childhood. Lets get the links out of the way.

Free Range Kids

I enjoy listening to parents as they talk about the efforts that they go through to keep their kids safe. From hovering at playgrounds to not letting their kids go outside in the yard. These discussions are probably humorous to me because they make no sense.

This was driven home when I was recounting my concern that my oldest had decided to change which bus stop she would use. One stop allows her an additional 15 minutes of sleep every morning over the one in our neighborhood. She discovered this when she missed her bus one morning.

Parents did not need to be informed, in her opinion, because the priority was getting to school. Why did it matter which bus stop she used? Being the concerned Dad that I am, of course I found out about the change and began telling my wife that it was dangerous for her to just switch bus stops like that.

As an aside it is interesting how much easier it is to aruge something until it impacts you directly.

Anyway my wife reminded me how I, as a much younger kid, wandered through the woods to both stay within the boundaries my parents set and still visit my friends. Literally we would leave my house after we ate breakfast and my parents would have no idea where we were until we walked through the door around dinner time.

To further drive home the point while sharing this story with my mother she shared a story about how I would go outside on my big wheel and ride through our neighborhood without crossing the street which was her rule. She said I was between 7-9 years old at the time.

I think about this now as we have a teen and a preteen that are not crossing boundaries but walking the perimeter. Then we get to do this all over again in 10 years with the baby gets here.

I think that freedom and independance are important for children.

If we keep them locked in a bubble we will be doing our children a disservice. Clean up the skinned knees, don't keep them from getting them.

Playing Legend of Zelda BOTW

Black Kids in eSports

This was an interesting article. I'll share an annecdote from my wild youth. We used to take these bus trips to Atlantic City. It was an opportunity for all of us to get away as a family. For the adults, they could get away and there were built in baby sitters as the older cousins kept and eye on the younger ones.

I think these articles are linked here. Was it a good idea to drop a bunch of older teens and preteens on the AC boardwalk and telling them to be back for the bus?

Any way, the article shares how while there is a big diversity gap in the professional FPS and MOBA games, one of the communities where diversity is better is in Fighting Games.

But that’s where the fighting games community (FGC) comes in.

The FGC’s racial diversity has become a beacon in esports; many of the top esports pros of color are coming from the fighting games community. In an in-depth article, Polygon quotes Tom Cannon, one of the co-founders of the best known fighting games tournament, EVO. Cannon traces the rise of fighting games to arcades and provides strong context for why the culture of the FGC is so different:

“The thing that has carried over the most [from arcades to the current FGC], and it was probably the most important thing about the arcade, is that it was face-to-face,” Cannon says. “And of course that’s carried over, because no one’s figured out how to make online fighting games really competitive because of the latency. I mean they’re good, they’re a lot better than they used to be, but [they’re] still not up to the standards where you can really play a serious game at the highest level of competitive play. Not in the same way that you can in StarCraft, or even FPS games.

Now back to our Atlantic City trips. One of the pain points for us was money management. You had to make you money last for hours. You also had to make sure you could eat during that time. This meant that you couldn't blow all you cash on a big purchase early in the day or waste it in the arcade quickly.

One day I played an older guy in this new arcade game called Street Fighter II. What he didn't realize was that I LOVED Street Fighter. I wore it out in our local arcade. This guy was super confident in his ability to beat a little kid. So confident that he bet me $1 I couldn't beat him.

$20 dollars and an attitude later my cousin Kenny and I had lunch which change left over to spare. This was my first experience with competitive gaming. LOL

Anyway these are some articles I found interesting today. Go thrive within your boundaries today!