Imagine this: for your whole life, you will have to play through the history of video games, beginning from arcade games such as Pac-Man to somewhat modern titles like ICO. If you think there’s no way someone would be able to do this, that’s exactly what Andy Baio did to his son.
At this point, some of you would probably think this qualifies for child abuse, but read on and you’ll see why this is a good idea. Baio’s son, Eliot, was first introduced to video games with Pac-Man. He then progressively advances to the next generations of video games until he is caught up with modern titles. The end result of this study might surprise you.
Not only did Eliot develop an appreciation for games that would normally be ignored by kids his age, he got terrifying good at playing video games. How good, you ask? This good:
— Andy Baio (@waxpancake) July 27, 2012
Spelunky is known for its extreme difficulty and permanent deaths. Once you die, you’ll have to start over from the very beginning of the game. Each level is also procedurally-generated; every time you revisit a level, it won’t be the same.
Derek Yu of Mossmouth, the developer of the game, even took notice of Eliot’s gaming skills:
@waxpancake That's the youngest I've ever heard of. Eliot is the chosen one!
— Derek Yu (@mossmouth) May 31, 2013
While Baio’s parenting does seem a little bit questionable, it did make Eliot appreciate video games more. Perhaps more people should judge a game based on gameplay rather than graphics, something that most of us are guilty of; myself included.
If you’d like a more detailed look at Baio’s study, click here.