Life Lessons from Nerdy Gamers

By Cathy Eck • November 13th, 2010

            By Cathy Eck

Life Lessons for Nerdy Gamers | Gateway To Gold | Cathy Eck

Get ready to challenge your stereotypes about gamers because they just aren’t true.

 

Life Lessons from Nerdy Gamers | Gateway to Gold | Cathy Eck

Nerdy gamers are transcending borders, learning about supporting each other, and eliminate prejudice.

 

Gamers are often viewed as lazy and unmotivated.

Gamers are often viewed as lazy and unmotivated.

The many faces of Day[9], alias Sean Plott!

 

Since my son took his first breath, I realized that the young ones were closer to the divine and closer to the truth of life than any adult.  My greatest life lessons would come from suspending my beliefs and listening to them.  It was pretty easy for me.  Children’s words and ideas just made sense.

Adults, on the other hand, rarely made sense.  At times, my training would get in the way — my training of what a child’s behavior should look like.  But the more I watched my children, the easier it became to see the grown-ups’ beliefs as simply lies.  Rules were made up to control our natural free spirit because our free minds and bodies aggravated people who had long killed off their spirits.  Children are born wise, not educated.  Children are born spiritual, not religious.  Children are born with love inside; they have to learn to hate from their parents and teachers.

My youngest son was a serious gamer.  It’s a label that invokes judgment from even the most liberal adults.  Gamers are viewed as lazy, unmotivated, and self-absorbed. I always suspected that something magic was happening in the gaming communities; the joy on my son’s face told me that it was serving some great purpose, and I would come to understand it in time.

Psychiatrists believe that the gamers are programming their minds for war.  I once asked my son about this, knowing that he probably knew more than most therapists.  His answer set me straight, “Mom, don’t you think we know the difference between pretend and real.”  Of course, he did.  It’s the adults that don’t know the difference between pretend and real.

For thousands of years, adults have been sending their sweet boys off to war playing a life-threatening, insane game to win land or a point of view.  And that is never labeled bad.  WTF?  Maybe the game of war has gotten stuck in the male, collective mind.  Then isn’t the sane answer to let it work itself out on the computer?

Years ago, I noticed that if I let my kids eat all the candy and television they wanted, they soon normalized on their own.  If I said “no,” then it became the forbidden fruit.  Read on, you’ll see that at least some of these kids might be playing war games while they are finding peace and truth.  They’re watching their minds as they play, and discriminating true from false at a very high level.

 

Sean Plott

So when Sam told me about Day[9]’s 100th show and how he shared the insights he gained from twelve years of playing Starcraft, I had a feeling that I was going to be inspired and enlightened.  Day[9] is the gaming identity of the real-life Sean Plott.  He shares his hard-earned Starcraft wisdom on YouTube with thousands of nerdy fans.  His older brother, Nick, alias Tasteless, is a professional commentator for Starcraft tournaments in the electronic game capital of the world, Korea.  Sean and Nick, like many other teens and young adults, have grown up gaming. But Sean and Nick took it upon themselves to enroll their mother in the program.

Sean admits that his mom didn’t always understand Starcraft.  But instead of seeing a generation gap that could not be bridged, he decided that it was his job to explain Starcraft in a way that she would understand.  After all, gaming was his passion; and he needed to convey that to her.

Now he admits that his unique ability to explain the game to non-gamers or newby gamers came from his determination to convey his love for the game to his mother.  Sean completely accepted responsibility for his relationship with his mother, and he learned the profound power in taking a responsible stance.  He now tells kids to figure out how to share their passion with their parents because when they succeed, their parents will be their biggest supporters.

Sean discussed the lessons he learned about strategy from Starcraft in his 100th episode.  Over years of playing Starcraft, he encountered gamers with more than a few tricks up their sleeve.  But those gamers weren’t the great players.  The great gamers used “good strategy and solid play.”  They didn’t rely on tricks or gimmicks.  Imagine if the business world got wind of that one — a lesson that few business school graduates seem to grasp.

As I listened to Sean, and as I watched my son game, it was always clear to me that the label of gamer was highly deficient.  These kids are students of life.  They are practicing life in a highly-evolved and fast-paced world.  Real life moves too slow for them, mostly because of the ridiculous beliefs that the adults in their life call rules and reality.  Sean described the skill set of a pro-gamer as having the “mind of a chess master and the dexterity of a musician.”

Now where can they learn that in school — maybe practicing their cursive writing, a completely obsolete skill, or learning the beginning and ending dates of some ridiculous war that people had no business fighting anyway.  And is it lazy or wrong to do something you enjoy?  Really?  I think the notion that doing what you hate has lived far too long — time to go to war and kill off that belief.

Most modern education is about memorizing and passing tests.  It is about creating conformists that blindly obey authority figures.  Sean jokes that it’s a world of “all A’s for everyone.”  The gaming world is real and fair.  You don’t win because your mother has connections.  You don’t lose because a judge made some biased decision. You don’t get respect because you’re older or have an advanced degree.  You get respect because you won.  And, you won because you deserved to win.

Sean says that he owes his quick decision-making ability to gaming because the game doesn’t wait for you to ponder your next move.  And without the interference of grown-ups sharing their gems of crap with them (my addition, not Sean’s), these young geniuses seem to learn and discriminate with a clarity and speed rarely matched in life.

Then there is Sean’s take on competition.  He recounted a tournament where he played a kid he called the happiest player alive.  At one point, he said he peaked around his computer screen at his opponent and caught him beaming, smiling like a pumpkin on Halloween.  And he thought to himself, “This is a moment.”  This was a serious competition, but Sean was noticing the joy on his opponent’s face.  He got emotional describing the genuine kindness of the community of gamers and labeled his fiercest competitors “awesome.”

Sean conveyed his understanding of win-win when he spoke of a tournament where he had to play his brother in the first round.  That was tough.  He didn’t like competing against his brother and best friend in a tournament.  Clearly both could not win.  In this particular tournament, Sean won.  With tears in his eyes, his brother Nick looked at him and told Sean how proud he was of him for being such an awesome player — no anger, no animosity, and no jealousy.  That’s what we call unconditional love, and you rarely find it in the world.

Nick sat on the sidelines supporting Sean as he advanced in the tourney.  And as Nick listened to the commentators, he realized that he could do so much better; so he offered to help them.  Without making the official spokespeople wrong, he brought his Starcraft wisdom to the microphone.  Sean was now equally proud of his brother; he described his commentating as flawless and entertaining.  And Nick (Tasteless) got hired on the spot.  Without hate, jealousy, or anger, both brothers won.  When we rise to unconditional love, everyone wins.

As Day[9], Sean realized what it means to be in the flow.  He talked about a very difficult match where he felt himself outside of his body witnessing his play.  He heard the words “I’ve won” even before the match was complete and watched as his higher nature took over and maneuvered his hands on the keyboard to the expected conclusion.  Of course, it makes sense that he would have this experience.  He was being his True Self.

He described his idol, FroZ, who simply decided to be a great player.  FroZ would see another gamer that he admired and declare that he would play at that level.  And he did.  He also learned from FroZ that only one person gets the blame for losing, YOU.

Sean understands losing but not in a win-lose sense.  He doesn’t see losing as bad.  He sees it as something to learn from, data to be analyzed to make you into a better player.  You either win or you learn how to improve.  Thus, win-lose is transformed into win-win — a lesson that our world leaders need to learn ASAP.

But his greatest lesson came from losing his most precious sentimental object, his bunny.  Sean’s childhood bunny was his lucky charm.  Bunny traveled with him to every tournament.  While competing in Singapore, Day[9] became very angry at himself for losing a match.  In fact, he pounded his keyboard.  He could not stop hating himself for his performance; and when he went to leave, he left bunny at the hotel.  Then he called to have it sent to him and gave the hotel the wrong address.  Bunny was lost forever in some postal neverland.  He learned from that incident that he wanted to win too much.  He had lost the joy of the game.  Anger had a price.  You lose whatever you love.

He had come to love or hate himself based on winning or losing.  And the price was too high.  Forget about his stereotypical, gamer magical thinking (he’ll get rid of that too, I’m sure), he racked up a huge win for his True Self by realizing that competition is not the point of gaming.

I watched Sean’s two-hour video biography twice, and I enjoyed every moment.  I didn’t understand half of what he said as I don’t know how to play Starcraft.  But his passion was real.  I got that, and it was beautiful.

 

In Summary

Sean summed it up this way, “I love Starcraft, and I love that I love Starcraft.” Wow!  How many people can say that.  His Starcraft community A-list includes the best players from all over the world — talk about no borders.  His goal is to become an ambassador for electronic games in the western world so that they become as accepted in America as they are in Korea.  He wants to prove that gamer doesn’t mean “homeless.”  Well, given the depth of Sean’s insights and mastery of life, I think we ought to drop some of the traditional reading, riting and rithmetic and let him teach Starcraft in schools.

This was a full-circle moment for me.  Years ago I made a tough decision to unschool my children because I wanted them to learn how to think, not what to think.  It was a difficult decision, and I faced nearly constant criticism.  But I learned that children are wiser than we give them credit for.  They are magical when they are passionate and inspired.

I’ve watched my son, Sam, gaming for years.  And it was clear that much more was happening than I could see or understand.   You see, Sean, Nick, and my Sam did learn how to think, how to discriminate, and how to make decisions.  They learned that from their love of gaming and their fellow gamers.  Their pure innate wisdom leads them.

I’m not saying school doesn’t have value.  It does.  Sean has a Master’s Degree.  My point is that other activities can have just as much, or more, value.  Learning comes in many places and forms.

While so-called successful parents call their sons and daughters lazy and unmotivated because they just want to game, they just might find themselves schooled one day.  So the next time, you get ready to judge a gamer, think twice, you just might be confusing a nerd with a master.

PS:  Here is the link to Day[9]‘s site, if you want it:  http://blip.tv/file/3486428

PSPS:  Congratulations Sean for being chosen as one of Forbes 2011 30 under 30.  I can honestly say I saw it coming.  Here is link to read about Sean’s achievement:  http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mfl45ielh/sean-day-9-plott-ceo-and-funsmith-day-9-tv-25/

 

Cathy Eck is the founder of Gateway To Gold.  She has studied the ancient mystery school teachings for decades. She is passionate about cracking the code of life’s greatest mysteries and translating the ancient wisdom in a way that is practical, simple, and empowering so that everyone can remember their true Self and live a perfect life.   If you want to learn more about unschooling, here is a link to Dispelling the Myths of Unschooling.


Comments

Very nice. Thank’s for your write-up.

Great article!

Perhaps you will become the second Starcraft mom together with Miss Plott :D

oh my god, amazing article, you should be proud of yourself :D best read i’ve had in a while

your son should be so proud of you

By Colton Nobles on November 17th, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Excellent article! Glad to see Day9 Daily #100 is being spread around. Sean has an amazing personality, his win-win mentality is something I believe contributes to his success, his flair. Thank your son for posting the link to this article on Teamliquid.

Amazing article, sent to my father, he will enjoy the read.

I like the open minded approach you took to analyzing Day[9]. You got the essence of what he’s trying to portray. Beside his knowledge on the game, it is the passion and love of the game that shines through. I am astounded by the approach you took to writing the article.

The world needs more people like you who are able to look past traditional stereotypes and are capable of making their own judgments.

God Bless You and may Sam go a long way in life

beautiful

I found your article from Sam’s link on the StarCraft community website teamliquid.net. I must say I’m impressed with your understanding of Sean and why people love StarCraft. I’ve tried, like your son, to get non-players to watch Day9 Daily #100, but so far no success. Next time I’ll just link them your article, you were brilliant.

Cathy

I greatly enjoyed reading about your recent journey into the gaming world. Personally, however, I’m most impressed by your approach in raising your children. There’s a big difference between believing something and acting on that belief, a difference that you chose to explore. You really are a role model in the truest form.

Regarding learning as a whole, you certainly are right that we can learn many life lessons from gaming. I find that the single greatest determining factor in what we learn and the rate at which we learn is the speed and quality of feedback. Whether this means putting your hand on the stove to figure out that it’s hot to losing your entire army to Psionic Storm to figure out that it does a ton of damage, instant and accurate feedback is incredibly important in providing an immediate and lasting education.

Also, Cathy, I think you may enjoy Randy Pausch’s take on “headfake learning”. Randy describes the use of a proxy to learn life lessons as “headfake learning”. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo&t=11m32s)

-Kevin

By gatewaytogold on November 17th, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Thank you Kevin, I will check out Randy’s video–it is wonderful to find others of like mind out there. Yes, losing your army in Psionic Storm is certainly less painful than the hot stove and a great lesson. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 17th, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Thank you so much. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 17th, 2010 at 1:57 pm

And those of us who write need more people like you who are wise enough to think that looking past stereotypes is cool. Thank you, Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 17th, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Here’s to your father–hope he enjoys it.

By gatewaytogold on November 17th, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Thank you. I’ll pass this on to Sam. The article only existed because Sean is so cool, and he only had all those stories because Starcraft players are awesome!

By gatewaytogold on November 17th, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Thank you very much. I am very proud of my gaming son and all the other gamers out there.

By gatewaytogold on November 17th, 2010 at 2:00 pm

That would be very cool

Love it.
Absolutely love it.

Great article! I’m going to send it to my parents with the hope that they will understand my hobby a little better.

By Thor Marius on November 17th, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Wow, I’m just blown away by this article.

I specially liked the following:
“You see, instead of being told what to think, Sean, Nick, and my Sam learned how to think, how to discriminate, and how to make decisions. Their pure innate wisdom was not covered by worthless, memorized knowledge.”

I’m relatively succesful at what I do and frequently get compliments on my ability to analyze situations and come up with a solution fast. I’m 100 % convinced that this comes from my gaming experience as I’ve always tended to play games that require you to have these abilities in addition to the obvious dexterity of sending out tons of commands.

I really disliked school due to the huge amount of knowledge that I knew I’d never use in any line of work that I would ever pursue, but I’m still doing better than many after just skipping it, using the tools I have at my disposal which would be quick thinking that in my opinion will be a very valuable skill in the future. I see the future shifting to more of a “How much information can you process fast while staying critical” contra “What can you memorize”. At least in my line of work this is quite invaluable ;)

I’m not the emotional type, but I sincerely was touched by this article. You’re in a generation I previously imagined was completely unable to think outside the box, so I’m very happy to see a glimmer of light in an otherwise dense situation. The “older” generation isn’t the only one who puts people into boxes i guess.. hehe. I’m glad everytime I’m proven wrong regarding that but you grow pessimistic after a while.

Thank you for the article and pardon my English as I’m an “uneducated” Norwegian. :D

Greetings from a Norwegian living in Sweden, T.Marius

Wow, put a tear to my eyes.

If only all grown-ups were like u..

By gatewaytogold on November 17th, 2010 at 2:58 pm

You don’t sound uneducated to me. I too find it useless to waste the mind on things you will never use. The uneducated ones are much closer to genius. Don’t forget that. cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 17th, 2010 at 2:58 pm

I read it and I love it. Thanks for sending it. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 17th, 2010 at 3:00 pm

I hope so too. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 17th, 2010 at 3:03 pm

They are they just don’t know it. But you guys can teach them. Cathy

Really great writeup, its nice to have someone not just see, but actually understand the ‘other side’ of gaming.

By Nick "Pokebunny" Taber on November 17th, 2010 at 3:11 pm

As a 15 year old aspiring top SC2 player, I loved this article and wish you were my mom. :(

very good read!

Omg this article was awesome! I am totally going to show this to my mom :)

By gatewaytogold on November 17th, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Don’t give up on her. She’ll get it. Just achieve your dream and she’ll be the proudest mom in the world.

By gatewaytogold on November 17th, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Gaming makes sense when life makes sense because gaming is actually life in the fast lane. Kids understand life; adults are learning. C

I am a 50 year old who discovered Starcraft 2 just a few weeks ago. I saw some of my employees playing after hours, and before I could scold them for using company computers, I was totally enthralled by the game. Now, 2 copies of the game later, I am addicted to Starcraft, and my wife thinks I have lost my mind. My fingers will never move as fast as the kids fingers do, but Starcraft has given me a way to spend time with my son (who moved home last year) and completely escape the world at large.

My son found the article and shared it with me. Thank you so much for writing it. I still want my son to get a job, and use the degree that I paid for, but in the mean time, I love sieging my tanks outside his base and blasting him to smithereens!

Best article I’ve ever read in my entire life. I loved everything about it and I really want more people to see day9′s 100th daily and this article.

Starcraft community hell yeah!

Great article

By Jeremie GUERIN on November 17th, 2010 at 4:49 pm

I really enjoyed the writing, and i think you put thhe finger on something very relevant and weirdly unexplored.
I wish everyone was as open minded as you are i believe you’re giving the best education ever to your boys.
Pro players of Snooker and other sports might also have suffered of a discrimination in the very beginning. Time will make justice to E-SPORTS

Awesome post, only wish my parents were as open. Love that you’re so supportive!

My parents are traditional asian parents. I totally understand the forbidden fruit analogy. However I know getting my parents into gaming would be a lost cause. Therefore I just share the experience with my friends and brother. Your children are lucky you have an open mind to what success is.

Thank you very much for this article, Cathy! one of the best reads I’ve ever read in a while! After this, I’m going to show my mother this and Day9′s 100th video as well, hope she likes it as much as you did! again thank you, you did a great job and your son is very lucky to have a mother like you :).

Insightful, true and to the point.

By gatewaytogold on November 17th, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Thank you very much. I’m very glad you enjoyed it. C

By gatewaytogold on November 17th, 2010 at 8:33 pm

It is good that you share it with friends if it is your passion. Don’t give up on your parents, you never know. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 17th, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Glad you enjoyed it. This is unexplored territory for the most part at least no in a positive way. Thanks for your support. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 17th, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Starcraft community hell yeah back at you! You guys are great!

By Charlie aka FreightCndr on November 17th, 2010 at 8:39 pm

I too was unschooled! Very much like this article. For any unschoolers out there… follow your passion. My highest school degree earned is a GED and I’m making 80k a year. Just do it.

By gatewaytogold on November 17th, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Kudos to you for being willing to give it a chance. So awesome that you and your son are playing together–that is worth more than all the money in the world. I’m sure he’ll find the right job soon. Thanks for writing. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 17th, 2010 at 8:45 pm

That is so awesome. I’ll pass that info on to Sam. That is what unschooling is all about–following your passion. It works. Cathy

You ROCK

Noticed the “your comment is awaiting moderation” and decided that “hot” did not warrant an entire post and would probably not get accepted. To that end, cool article. Keep rockin.

I got all teary eyed when you talked about tasteless and day 9s tournament battle, im getting a little choked up right now thinking about it just beatiful thank you for understanding this wonderful thing!

A game where the first thing you do is scout with a “worker”. Does that make any sense? Who scouts with a “worker”? That’s like sending out the janitor to perform recon, what general would do that? Retarded game.

Great read! <3 Day9 and <3 Sam's Mum now :D!

I love this write-up. I wish more people shared your attitude, Ma’am. I’m glad our community has reacted so warmly to this post. It’s very refreshing an opinion of our hobby from the outside. Kudos.

I admire your open-mindedness about gamers and gaming in general. Your son is lucky to have a mother like you (^-^)

Great article! I’ve been having trouble in my personal life with my parents recently since I chose to withdraw from my college career in favor of other studies and activities, and sometimes a nice read like this is just what is needed to remind us that the classic activities aren’t always the best option.

3 Words

awesome – article
awesome – sean plott
awesome – sc2 comunity

Cheers, friends of my heart

I enjoyed this article as much as i loved day9`s 100th show :) . Thank you very much

By josh walker on November 18th, 2010 at 2:32 am

i cried. there is nothing as beautiful as a good parent.

One of the greatest articles ive ever read. As a Starcraft player i just loved it.

Your son should be proud of you. He has awesome mom!

Enjoyed this read. Glad to see someone out there who can see that gaming isn’t something bad at all.

Will be sharing to as many people as I can.

By Michal Lagowski on November 18th, 2010 at 3:42 am

Well, i read all of it and must agree with your statements. Gaming is sth that adults don’t understand. But it’s all about passion, and very, very interesting way of learning many useful skills like imagination, making of quick decisions, tactics, strategy, an many more. Me, for example…’m 30 years old, i have job, wife, and daughter:-) But still, when my family goes to sleep, and all my daily things are done, i’m turning on my PC and play on the net Starcraft 2 or Unreal…That’s sth that makes me relax over a day full of responsibilities.

But in Poland, where i live, there are not many people that understand Gaming, and treats it like a weird and useless hobby. Pitty, because i concider Gaming as modern “book-reading”. When i was young, i was reading a lot, and later, was playing games a lot. And guess what? I finished my studies with an A, was working at marketing companies, and in National TV. I didn’t finished as homeless or worthless lazy guy, but as a man of succes. Thank u for technological revolution, computers and Internet.

I also know many gamers and people connected with E-sports. I think that it’s a great international community where ideas of modern culture are most performed. Ideas like equality and democracy, no racism, or other stuff. We all are gamers united in our passion. That’s great. And just like Day9 i love it, an love to loving it:-)

beautiful article, well thought and written.

Amazing article!

Very nice article.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the subject. I enjoyed it quite alot.

/ELA

This is a great article, I’m a gamer and actually found your site through this article.

Thank you for taking the time to look at something you did not understand and grasping what it means to millions of people around the world.

I will pass this along and hope that you get a lot more traffic through your efforts :)

Wow all these amazing comments!

This article means as much to me as Seans Daily 100 did. I will be taking a leaf out of your son’s book and showing the video and this article to my mum. Ive always felt that people feel sorry for gamers and look down on them while I look back and feel sorry for them :)
I’m glad that you can now appreciate what a great thing we have going, I hope you join us for some games and life lessons at teamliquid.net ;)

Touching article. It really is about passion and the love of the game.

You should also look up a short speech John the Translator gave at the last GSL in S. Korea regarding this same topic.

I’m a 17-year-old school kid who started playing Starcraft 2 when it was released, and I fell in love with the competitive 1v1 nature. There is only you and your opponent, and as Day9 said, losing is your fault, nothing else.

I feel that playing lots of 1v1 games has helped me to deal with losing even in real life tasks; I can accept it that I’m not the best, and be happy regardless. I used to rage a lot before and/or blame it on external factors, but nowadays I calmly analyze what I did, accept that my opponent was better, and queue up for another game and try not to execute the same mistakes. I see that this is an ability even many adults still seem to be lacking.

I’m still very bad at school, but I’m proud of doing what I love; I love eating healthy and exercising, I love mixing electronic tunes and I love playing Starcraft. The society norms here differ a lot from these, but I love what I do and I’m not quitting it because others expect me to do things considered normal.

And I love Starcraft community, so far it’s the best community I’ve ever been in. I hope to stick with you guys for a long time.

By Paul van der Steen on November 18th, 2010 at 6:32 am

An excellent read.
It’s good to see there are parents that do not simply discard their childrens hobbies because it is not what they grew up with.
After reading your blog it also puts Day[9]‘s story in a different perspective for me, opening up another layer of content I missed the first time. It makes me want to watch the episode again.
Good luck to you and you son!

You should definitely link to the daily so your readers can find it!

http://blip.tv/file/3486428

Great write up.

By Silvio Lobo on November 18th, 2010 at 6:51 am

Great article!
One of the best articles I’ve read so far! ;)

I’m from Brazil and gaming here is considered a “kid’s fun” by the majority of people. :(
But, almost every gamer I know usually turns into a very smart and successful person. No doubts about that! :D

“StarCraft is a reflection of life and how it should be lived”
(Alan Feng – “Starcraft 101: The Art of War”)
Yes, there is a course about StarCraft at University of California, Berkeley.
You can check out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7XiE_V0PZ8

Worth watching!

Regards,
Silvio Lobo

By DIANNE RITTINER on November 18th, 2010 at 7:23 am

My son, David, has been a gamer since he could push that key. I have never tried to stop him. I am as proud of him as you are of your sons.

What a great read! I’ve often compared lessons learned playing a high level strategy game like Starcraft to real life, and it’s great to see another generation noticing that there is more there than mindless blasting.

Great Article! It’s great to hear that a parent taking the education load upon themselves! You’re one cool mom, sam is lucky to have!

Hello Cathy,

My name’s Josh and I have a marketing degree from the USC Honors College… I worked for a year after finishing up college, but never felt quite right about it. Since April of 2010, I’ve switched gears and have focused on nothing but StarCraft 2 and its community. I run a sponsored YouTube channel now, and I try to put my best business knowledge forward while trying to appease the masses, but gamers are different from the general masses. They don’t like perceiving that they’re being taken advantage of in any way, they just want more content. It’s interesting that the best way for organic growth is to tune out everyone and just create as much as you possibly can.

Either way, I owe my current lifestyle to StarCraft 2 and gaming in general, and I’m as happy as could be.

Very nice read

Sean Day9 Plott is a great ambassador

He also pursues University and has a colourful life – good example not to become too obessed with gaming and take breaks from it every now and then.

I shed a tear reading this…
There is no greater feeling than to be supported by your parents, and there is no greater joy than to share you joys and passion with them.
Only if more adults were as open and wise you.. And not just adults, all should follow their passion :D
Cheers for being a great mom and having a great son!!!

awesome read.

It connects nicely to this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U
(it is about changing the paradigm, when it comes to education)

This was thoughtful, loving and a perspective that I simply love. I hope more parents let the world know they see the value in competitive gaming. -Jerry

http://about.me/lordjerith

I agree with many of the insights in this blog. However, I’m concerned with the amount of time some young people spend gaming and how some of them do not get out of the house to socialize, attend Church, exercise, spend time with family, etc. I believe we were sent to earth for a very real purpose, which cannot all be accomplished through games, even if they provide training for a real-life career eventually.
So, to me, it’s not gaming itself that is necessarily a problem, but like anything else, moderation is the key.

Amazing. Thank you for taking the time to share this.

The best thing about gaming is it allows the young and shy but intelligent ones to escape from a harsh and frankly uncaring world in a way that allows them to develop as people, not just as subjects to be tormented.

More people should enjoy gaming as part of their balanced life.

wow.. This article brought tears of joy to my eyes.

/Martin
Sweden

Thanks for writing that — I enjoyed it. One point though: Day9 is not just an attendee of the schools of life and Starcraft, but also the schools of Harvey Mudd (math) and USC (game development).

Awesome read.

I like your alex grey shirt.

wow i was in tears by the end i am also an uneducated gamer and this gave me hope to get through life with my head held high thank you for your inspiring words it my have in fact changed my life.

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 10:49 am

Thanks for spreading the love–I’m very sick of the gaming is for losers stuff and will continue to do my part to change it. C

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 10:50 am

Never apologize for what brings you joy. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 10:50 am

Thanks, Alex Grey is another awesome guy! C

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 10:52 am

I agree. I’m not saying school is bad. It is necessary if you want to work in certain professions. But I think we all need to put the school of life first as Sean does. Gamers seem to get that. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 10:54 am

Gamers will one day show the world; just give it time. C

By Patrick Hughes on November 18th, 2010 at 11:45 am

I admire your passion for maintaining a strong relationship with your children, but many of the things you said rubbed me the wrong way. When you strayed from the main topic to share your beliefs, there were too many unanswered questions to be explained.
I liked what you had to say about the value of gaming and your passion for connecting with your son, but I’d preferred it if you hadn’t made such an effort (It felt as if you were really digging hard to make a connection that I didn’t feel was supported very well) to tie it to your personal beliefs about education. It made me very uneasy to hear such disdain for historical knowledge, mathematics, and language skills. The hands-off approach to learning you speak of is intriguing, but the only evidence you gave of your son’s superior intellectual development were problem-solving skills and a scrabble game. Without context, you force readers like me to read between the lines and make assumptions.
Your post was well-written in that your voice has character and your thoughts come off as genuine and heartfelt. I know it’s a blog and not a formal written medium, but when you say you’re a professional writer, it hurts your credibility to write in such an unprofessional style. The only reason I even mention this is because this is the only place you give the reader to evaluate your credibility. If you’re going off tangent to boast about the benefits of your parenting style, it would be great to hear about how effective it is. Do you perhaps have other writing in which you discuss this?

Great read. Its good to see parents being interested in what they’re kids do these days. Its harsh to see so many parents care too much about sports accomplishments and GPAs that they don’t really care what kind of people their kids really become.

Although not all gamers end up this way, some gamers are stoned out of their minds living in a basement, and flipping burgers.But some academically successful, having a bachelor degree in some extraordinary field yet not being able to tie their own shoes and think for themselves.

A nice read, thank you =)

It’s always great when you see and meet adults that genuinely care about their kids instead of just raising them to become comformist adults, which usually just results in alienation from the family (which me and most other gamers/computerguys/etc. suffered).

And hey, try playing a round of Starcraft too, you’d be amazed ;)

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 11:58 am

Moderation is kind of the buzz word these days. And yet, experiments have been done that when you don’t judge people (esp children) they moderate themselves. The over-gaming is most likely an effect of the community feeling severely judged.

But I often have to remind myself that moderation isn’t necessary outside of the norm of what society considers right and wrong. Do we need to moderate love? joy? peace? It is a mind-shift that the children are pushing us toward–a badly needed mind-shift.

Regarding the socialization, they are definitely socializing. They are breaking borders. They play games with others of all religions, races and countries. I’ve seen many of their conversations; they are deep and interesting–not the superficial party talk that is socially correct. It is what I love most about the gaming community. They lack prejudice. People are judged on their ability to play.

Thanks for writing. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 11:59 am

I liked that video a lot. I favorited it and put it on my facebook page. Thanks for sharing it. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Thank you for your comment. You make a good point. I think even people in their 90′s long for the support of their parents. If only parents got that. It would change the world. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Thanks for spreading the word. Much appreciated. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Agreed. He does what he loves, and he is not one-dimentional. Ah! That is another stereotype that I forgot. People think that gamers are one-dimentional. Obviously not true. Thanks for reminding me. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 12:06 pm

That is cool Josh. I think life has a way of getting us in the right place at the right time. Sounds like it worked for you. Sounds like you are learning to please your heart, not the masses. Stay with it–happy is everything. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Your comment is spot on. Whether someone ends up stoned or successful doesn’t necessarily have to do with gaming. Although I’d be willing to place money on those who were not judged for gaming as ending up in the successful category, hopefully making enough money to hire someone to tie their shoes. Cathy

Lovely read. Thank you.

I’ve watched Day9 Daily #100, twice now. It’s great and I’m glad your son took the courage to show you what an incredible and advancing world that the gaming community is…

I want to take a leaf out of your sons book and try to bring my mum (Yeah, I spell mum the correct way. Deal with it) into some understanding of what gaming or being a gamer is and the community of incredible people that it is. But the most fundamental problem that your blog post clearly displays is that most “people” don’t understand.

I’m not going to label them as baby boomers or gen Y or gen X I think that society has evolved to such a state that these terms are completely irrelevant, you either understand technology or you’re going to be left in the dark if you don’t who cares if you were born 60 years ago, what stopped people from learning about new technology when it first came in to prominence rather than denouncing it as a “pointless waste of time”

I think a lot of parents have been told about online communities and how interactive new technology and competitive gaming is but for the most part, they don’t care to learn about it and you’ve hit the nail right on the head with your post, and by the looks of the comments the gaming community has embraced it with open arms.

If everybody your age (not that it’s a bad thing) was as open minded as you, half the worlds problems would’ve already been solved.

I’d like to close by requoting something that you wrote as I personally feel that it’s so relevant that it needs to be repeated.

“Children are born wise, not educated. Children are born spiritual, not religious. Children are born with love inside; they have to learn to hate from their parents and teachers.”

You’re awesome.

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 12:43 pm

My intent was to spotlight Sean not me. I only shared parts of my story to show why his video touched me so deeply. I don’t boast about my children, I boast about children in general–I think they are amazing and there is so much to learn from them. I work with parents and kids who have big problems and when the parents get the child’s point of view, the problems go away.
I don’t have a “disdain” for education. I don’t have a disdain for anything, except perhaps people judging others without walking in their shoes. But I do believe that adults must make some attempt to adjust to the level of the kids–not make the kids conform to what worked in our day. School has not adjusted for the times. And the things I commented on–cursive writing and memorizing war dates–are antiquated and meaningless to them. If we can give them something interesting to learn, they will. That is what I learned from taking responsibility for my kids schooling.

I admit my style is hard for some people (adults) to get. But I’ve had literally hundreds of emails from kids all over the world that have said this touched their hearts–one said it saved his life. They have said how much they would give if their parents would just discuss games with them or ask them what they know about life. One child said to have one conversation about gaming with his mom would be everything. That makes me sad. I don’t do anything to maintain my relationship with my children except support whatever they pursue 100 percent. I don’t get the credit or blame for their life, they do. Since they know the consequences for their choices belong to them, they tend to make good choices.

Not sure what a professional writer is–I’m a writer. Writing is my passion. I’ve got some credentials but I write because I’m inspired–no other reason. Credibility means nothing to me. What does mean something is kids feeling good about themselves even if they are nerdy. What does mean something is that people stop judging kids as bad, wrong, and following worthless pursuits when they just can’t say that for sure.

I’m hoping to start the discussion of what is right about gaming and how can we use it to make the world a better place. Trashing it has not gotten people anywhere. If that is unprofessional, lacking in credibility, and boasting so be it.

As for my kids they do what they love. I have no judgment of what is good or bad, successful or unsuccessful. One is a dancer, one studying to be a chef, and one trains horses. What people don’t realize is that when you make TV and gaming opportunities to learn, they become that. When you make them a waste of time, they become that. Intention is everything. I didn’t say all that because it was not the point of the article. There are some good schools out there and great teachers. And there are some crappy ones that need a bit of training. But that is not my job. I only offer that kids will learn anywhere their heart leads them if we let them. They are naturally drawn to learn. Hope that answers your questions and concerns. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Well it takes awesome to know awesome. It is probably easier for me. I used to own a technology company. I have met a few gaming grandmas. You never know who you might be playing–they have pretty funny alias names so that people don’t know they are grandmas or grandpas. I think they are also embarrassed to admit how much they love gaming. C

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 12:52 pm

There’s another one of those stereotypes–kid’s fun. Funny but most of the people who say that were trekies in their day–I guess they forgot. Thanks for writing. Cathy

Really nice write-up. Made me watch the daily again.
So glad parents like you exists.

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 12:54 pm

I just added the link. I didn’t realize my article would get this popular. Normally my blog is the one that people run from. Thanks for the reminder. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 12:55 pm

That is cool. I hear Day9′s video is getting a lot of hits. Makes me smile. C

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 12:56 pm

There is a wise man who once said: “If two of us think alike, one of us is not necessary.” Keep doing what you love and being different. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I watched it. Thanks for sending it. Awesome! We need more of this. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Thank you for spreading the message. Imagine what can happen if all the gamers start feeling good about themselves. Wow! C

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Thank you for representing Poland. Someone has to start the movement. You, like Day9, prove that gaming and homeless don’t have to be in the same sentence. Thanks for leading the way. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Thanks for spreading the message. C

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Thanks but it takes awesome to know awesome! Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Well I don’t know if I’m good. But I learn well. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Everyone has a different path. And all of them are right. Classic works for some. But those who don’t fit into classic should never feel wrong or ashamed. Follow what feels good and it will be right and you will be successful (in whatever way you define success).
C

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 1:05 pm

I’m lucky to have had a son that was willing to see me as teachable. Thanks for writing. C

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 1:07 pm

thanks. You don’t have to call me ma’am. Anyone who judges gamers just needs to read all these posts–they are well-written, warm and kind. It is only the parents that I get the nasty emails from. LOL> Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 1:09 pm

I think you’re in the wrong forum. As I said, I never played the game. But the gamers seems pretty cool so there must be something useful about scouting a recon (whatever the hell that is). LOL Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 1:10 pm

I liked that too–cool to see two brothers care so much for each other. Thanks for writing. C

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Hot works! Thanks Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Thanks, I put the link at the end. Great idea. Cathy

Bookmarked.

Thanky uo for the great read!

DAY[9] YOU LITTLE MACHINE YOU!!!

kudos the the author…super coool ass mom :)

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 1:35 pm

I like super cool ass mom. I’m thinking of taking up the game–maybe that would be a neat alias. C

Dear super cool mom,

You mention the part where day9 said “I won” during the game. I think you are reading into this too much.

In the mathematical system known as StarCraft: Brood War, in that match-up of Zerg vs Protoss, on the map they played on, when protoss expanded after 2 gate, there is a series of decisions that make it 100% impossible for the protoss to win, if done correctly by the zerg.

Day9 knew exactly what he had to do to win, and, having practiced it many times before, and the high pressure situation of the finals, he entered into a flow state and stopped playing consciously.

It was nothing about a higher state of mind, unless you consider Flow to be that state. It was purely mathematical.

“At one point, he said he peaked around his computer screen at his opponent and caught him beaming, smiling like a pumpkin on Halloween. And he thought to himself, “This is a moment.” This was a serious competition, but Sean was noticing the joy on his opponent’s face.”

That was your other son, Nick, he was talking about, they both made the top 3 in that tournament and were playing the finals of that tournament to see who would get first.

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 3:09 pm

What you say is cooler than you might know. You see science has now proven that at the highest state of mind is mathematics–what people like Einstein were hitting on. So I think we are saying the exact same thing in two different ways. And yes, psychology now admits that a high or clear state of mind (really just a term subject to many interpretations) and flow are pretty much the same–the point as you said so well is to stop doing it consciously. thanks for your insight. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Not my son–I’m just a fan. Cool whoever did it. C

By Patrick Hughes on November 18th, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Cathy, I greatly appreciate your response. I sensed some defensiveness and I think you may have misinterpreted a few things I said, so I just wanted to try and clear them up a bit. My intention was not to put you down or dismiss anything you said. I liked your post a lot and that’s why I’m taking the time to give feedback. It’s so great that you responded! It’s a very rare thing on the internet these days, I’ve found.

I wasn’t implying you were boasting about your children, rather about your approach to educating your children and in hindsight I ought’ve chosen a word with a less negative connotation. As I said, I found what you said about your hands-off, “unschooling” approach very intriguing, but the burning questions of “do her kids just do whatever they want and have no guidance in their learning?” and “how effective has this novel approach been?” distracted me from the core of your message: children are capable of self-moderation and self-motivation and gamer stereotypes need to be challenged in order to help us realize this. Your approach is so unusual that it just begs for further explanation regarding how it works and how effective it is.

I was very dissatisfied with much of my public schooling. I always thought the time I was required to attend could have been cut at least in half. There’s so much wasted time in a school day and so much redundancy. I had a handful of great, inspiring teachers, but most were lackluster. However, I am still very grateful I had the opportunity to participate in public education. To me there is only so much a person can learn on their own or from their parents and there are so many valuable things (history, math, writing, science) I learned in school which I never would’ve been able to learn at home. I know it’s unfair to characterize homeschoolers as socially deficient as it’s not impossible for them to develop social skills outside of school, but I feel there are many important life lessons one learns about oneself and about the nature of society by being part of the societal microcosm that is public school. Children are forced to interact with a vast number of peers and thereby learn to get along and communicate with people no matter who they are. Sean talks quite a bit about his schooling in the 100th daily and so it seemed very odd for you to use him as an example to support your beliefs on education. I will say I’ve learned a great deal on my own through media like games and television and I think it’s important to nurture that sort of intellectual curiosity in a child, but you came off sounding as if you’ve gone from one extreme (absolute conformity and rote memorization) to another (total passivity in your child’s learning). I believe it’s best to have a healthy balance of guided teaching and freedom to engage one’s own curiosity through learning outside of school. Schools need reform and better funding, but I don’t think “unschooling” is a viable option for our nation’s youth. So many children have uneducated or illiterate parents, are poor, or have no access to educational materials and public school is the best way to overcome this problem.

I can assume you do give your children at least some guidance in their development, as it sounds like they are successful, intelligent, healthy, happy humans, but there was no way for me to tell when reading your post. I am very curious about how the process works and I think a great number of people coming from other websites felt the same way reading your post. (By the way, I found your post through the starcraft forums on reddit.com. There’s a very lively discussion taking place there, but it’s mostly not about Sean, but rather argument and speculation over your parenting style.)

<3 Miss EternalFishY <3
BRAVO

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Thanks for your reply–I suspect we agree on more than we disagree and I’m glad to have the discussion. I do plan to write an article on unschooling–hopefully later this week as you are not the only one who has asked about it. But that was really not the point of this article. People tend to notice in an article what is relevant for them, and quite honestly, often I didn’t even notice it or see it as that relevant. For example, many thought I was writing from a religious viewpoint since I used the word God–never entered my mind. It just seemed like the right word to use.

You may have noticed I went to school and have a Ph.D. I obviously don’t think school is a bad thing–although I did enroll in very creative programs that suited my style of learning. I do think that the true nature of the student must lead, not the system. I found that when my children wanted to learn something, they learned it in days, or hours. I can’t take credit for that idea. I found a book one day called “Free at Last.” The writer said that children learn all of mathematics in less than 6 weeks (what is normally taught over 6 or more years) when they are ready to learn it. My experience confirmed that research. Thus if you learn it all in a few days, you have a lot of time for fun. I know tons of teenagers who learned to text and game without even reading the instructions. You should have seen me learning to text–I still can’t do it well–but you see, I didn’t care about texting. That, in a nutshell, is what unschooling is about. When the motivation comes from the inside of a person, you can’t stop them from learning it.

Here is a short response on my role. I opened the door to learning. I was constantly reading, watching videos on interesting topics, going to museums and taking trips to learn about the world. They were always welcome to join me. If they showed an interest in something, I found the best possible teacher I could and offered to bring them in contact with that teacher. Usually they only needed a few hours or days with a great teacher, as opposed to years with a mediocre one. As you mentioned, I avoided the lackluster teachers who were going through the motions. Kids don’t dislike learning; they dislike being bored just as we did. Traditional school unfortunately, has become memorizing, standardized tests, and boring lectures. So unschooling, which was not my invention, was just a movement away from memorizing and testing.

I’ll give you the most profound example in my experience. After I started this, I was quite unsure of what I was committing to. My oldest son had been in a school for the gifted for 6 years. I told him to decide what he wanted to do. He cried and begged me to please tell him what to do. It took him two years of struggle before he could decide on his own what to do–he had been so programmed that others tell you what to do. During that time, I had to consistently give him back his power to make his own decisions. It was hard. I wanted to tell him what to do. But I had been an entrepreneur. I hired employees everyday who were outer motivated. It made me sad. When I found someone who was inner motivated, they could do the work of ten people. I wanted to find out how to raise kids that are inner motivated. I don’t think I’m a particularly good parent–esp from society’s standards–but I found my answer.

So I hope that makes sense. I’m sure others will find our discussion helpful who were perhaps thinking these things but didn’t take the time to write. Thanks for letting me know that others are interested in this. Cathy

Are you worried about your child not having any academic certificates? Could this cause problems for university and even well paid jobs in the future? Could you please explain further.

Thanks.

By Rohit Batra on November 18th, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Great writeup about one of my idols in life. I found this post on another website that linked me here. I’m glad you had the opportunity to watch day9 daily #100. I was in tears myself after watching it and still get goosebumps thinking about it.

By Patrick Hughes on November 18th, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Just a few more thoughts on your response:

“If we can give them something interesting to learn, they will. That is what I learned from taking responsibility for my kids schooling.”
-You originally came off sounding as if you’d abandoned all responsibility for your kids’ schooling and had left it entirely to them as wise children to take responsibility for their own learning. Traditional studying to me means reading books and being taught by teachers, so never studying in a traditional away implies Sam is solely reliant on new forms of media and self-teaching. (“My youngest son, Sam (the gamer), has never attended school and has never studied in the traditional way. He learned by gaming, watching television, and figuring things out on his own. My job was to trust his true Self to do the job–to lead him to whatever he needed or would need in life.”)

“Not sure what a professional writer is–I’m a writer.”
-A professional writer is someone who makes a living from their writing. They typically (not in every case, but typically) adhere to high standards of clarity, organization, and grammatical fluency. It’s a pretty cut-and-dry term, so why the uncertainty? I agree you are a writer and if I’m not mistaken I saw somewhere on your site you mentioned your goal of authoring your own books. I would call this becoming a professional writer, and if you have a publisher, they are likely (Obviously it depends on the type of book) to have the same concerns I do about your ambiguous language and disregard for grammatical conventions (I’m not talking about honest mistakes and typos, here either.). Many argue grammar is unimportant, but in writing it has great influence over the meanings of sentences.

“Credibility means nothing to me.”
-I’m completely dumbfounded by this one. How can writing be your passion if credibility means nothing to you? If you can’t trust others or yourself, why would you bother communicating at all?

“I’m hoping to start the discussion of what is right about gaming and how can we use it to make the world a better place. Trashing it has not gotten people anywhere. If that is unprofessional, lacking in credibility, and boasting so be it.”
-You’re putting words in my mouth here. I very much support discussion of gaming and how it can improve our lives and never said your goals were incredible, unprofessional or self-serving. I don’t think dismissing gaming as trash is reasonable either and I don’t understand why you would direct that comment at me.

“I have no judgment of what is good or bad, successful or unsuccessful.”
-You would support 100% a child’s decision, no matter what effect it might have on the child or other people? You make no judgments? That’s not something I would consider a valuable (or even plausible) trait to have.

“What people don’t realize is that when you make TV and gaming opportunities to learn, they become that. When you make them a waste of time, they become that. Intention is everything.”
-People do realize tv and gaming are opportunities to learn. That’s why watching educational videos and playing games is such an integral part of modern education in public schools. I think what you’re not realizing is that when you consider school a waste of time, it becomes that. I agree intention is everything and argue that if you or your children regarded school as a learning opportunity, it would become one. You seem so non-conformist that you’re simply making decisions based on the fact that they go against the norms. Not everything normal is bad and it makes you sound ignorant when you say stuff like this. You do judge whether things are good or bad, whether you like to think so or not. That’s why you have opinions to share. It’s quite obvious you’re most likely not ignorant, but a lot of the things you say make you sound as if you were.

Very nice write up. This, as well as Day9′s 100th daily was very inspiring. This was full of facts and insight, I enjoyed reading it very much!

By Charlie aka FreightCndr on November 17th, 2010 at 8:39 pm

“I too was unschooled! Very much like this article. For any unschoolers out there… follow your passion. My highest school degree earned is a GED and I’m making 80k a year. Just do it.”

Whoa whoa whoa WHOA! Hold on now.

I think it’s very important to note that Sean Day[9] Plott has a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and is currently working on a master’s.

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 5:09 pm

I’m not against schooling–I myself have a Ph.D. C

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 5:21 pm

A parent once came to visit me, and I realized that the visit was to criticize my methods. I told her to contact the college of her choice and ask them if they would accept my children. She wrote to the president of a major university and asked if my child would be accepted. She was shocked when the response was absolutely YES. He said that contrary to popular opinion, universities do value free thinking which often comes through on the application essays; he said that they had accepted many unschooled children and were extremely proud of them. If school is right for kids they will enjoy it and do well. Sean is proof of that. He is a gamer working on his Master’s degree. You’d be surprised at how many milliionaires quite school. I think it is a personal decision. It was right for us. Thanks for writing. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 18th, 2010 at 5:28 pm

If you’d like to give me a list of the grammatical errors, I’d be happy to correct them. Other than that, I can’t offer anything else. I don’t think people should quit school or unschool. I shared something from my life only to show that you can learn some valuable lessons from gaming. At one point, I was certain it was a waste of time. But as I said, “I was schooled.” I think people should learn from everything in life, including gaming. It makes life fun.

By Erik Wihlborg on November 18th, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Really good article, I wish my dad was good at English(We’re from Sweden) then I’d forward it to him. I can remember various arguments about my computer habits as a kid/teenager, now I’m 24 and I can honestly say that I regret nothing. The computer-world’s impact on me as a person is almost 100% positive. It’s really nice to read about a person in my dad’s age actually giving it a chance before judging it. Respect and love from Sweden.
/ Erik

By Patrick Hughes on November 18th, 2010 at 6:11 pm

It wasn’t a waste of time and I’m not trying to rain on your parade! I’m trying to interact with you through a reasoned and simple question and answer process. You keep defending yourself with paper-thin nonsense like “credibility means nothing to me” and “I have no judgment of what is good or bad.” If anything means nothing, it’s saying stuff like that. I’m disappointed someone as highly educated as you would be so difficult to communicate with.

My respect for you is fading fast. You repeatedly focus on my most minor criticisms and either ignore my questions or offer philosophical mumbojumbo that does nothing to address the questions.

I’d gladly fix your grammar mistakes for you, but editing costs money. My point was hardly about grammar as it is only relevant as a side-note regarding your credibility as writer, but moreso as someone who dismisses the value of public education.

Methinks Patrick is a troll.

If he’s not, he needs to consider the background of who he’s talking to and acknowledge that his need for firm clarity is not going to be fulfilled by the author.

Having a passion for something doesn’t mean that that something has to be performed in a manner that suits *your* requirements or definition.

You might want to consider that ambiguity can be purposeful so it can be open to interpretation.

Finally, dude, as much as you may profess the contrary, you’re whole purpose here has turned into (if it wasn’t before) being argumentative for the sake of trying to force someone to take a firm stance so you can decide the credibility.

If you’re really wanting to learn something, take what she’s said and use your own brain to figure out how to make it work for you. You’re trying to get her to tell you specifics about how she went about raising her children and from her stance on “education,” it’s frankly dumb of you to expect her to educate you.

Figure it out.

Wow Cathy!
This article radiates awesomeness. I’m only 24 but now oddly attracted to you and wondering if you are single. :)

Double post. Cathy, don’t mind Patrick Hughes. He is an elitist and what the sc2 community calls a “troll”

A tear to my eye. I’ve been judged too much, and feel great shame for what feels like the most enriching part of my life. Thank you for thinking differently, I hope another generation will be raised like your sons.

By Mother to a gamer on November 19th, 2010 at 1:03 am

Greate! Thank you for convincing me that I was doing the right thing when I beleived in my son and what he was doing despite everyone told me to stop him.
It is hard for us, who has not been brought up with computers, to see the possible outcome. I am just full of respect for the new generation!
And at last – thank you my son for sending me this!

nice article
well written
thx

You are my hero

Pat Hughes, shut the fuck up. No body cares about what you say you fucking faggot. People want to raise their kids their own way, let them. There’s no right way for anything, everyone has their own opinions, so read and go on with your life. No need to sit around and argue with people you retarded queer.

Great work ! Thx 4 that, even if my english is not that good, i loved reading this article.
greez from germany

As a Mom of 2 sons that play Starcraft, I often got annoyed at the amount of time they spent on the computer playing against their “so called friends”. After my oldest suggested we sign up his brother for the DC tournament, we supported the idea. It was a pleasure to see my younder son very excited with anticipation for the opportunity to play in the event. I will say it was an eye opening experience. Hundreds of kids all their to play games. My oldest accompanied us to support his brother. He also introduced us to several of the “on-line” players that he has met “virtually” and now had the opportunity to meet in person. Every kid (~16-26) was polite, spoke well and had future career aspirations other than gaming. While my youngest played, we all stood around the roped area to watch with the other spectators. Everyone was quiet and respectful during the matches. After each match, the players shook hands. I admired the mutual respect and sportsmanship of the players. While I still don’t understand the game, I do realize it involves strategy, quick decision making and sportsmanship which are skills that will serve my children well in their adult life.

Awesome writeup!

I just found this. What a great read. I actually watch day9 every single day. He is brilliant.

Mr. Hughes seems a bit of an asshat. “reasoned question and answer process,” lol

my favourite line
“Most modern education is about memorizing and passing tests. It is about creating conformists that blindly obey authority figures.”

By gatewaytogold on November 19th, 2010 at 10:37 am

Thank you for writing. Your support means more than you will ever know. Your right LOL. thank you for reminding me. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 19th, 2010 at 10:42 am

Wow, thank you for sharing. You got it. In the words of one of the childhood experts that I respect very much, Daniel Greenberg, “when they find something else that they love as much as gaming, they will apply all those skills to that end and they will be unstoppable.” I didn’t quote it exactly but I think he’d approve of the way I wrote it. Your boys are proof of that. Thank you so much for letting them lead and honoring their world (and allowing me to share that moment with you). Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 19th, 2010 at 10:43 am

Thanks for writing from Germany. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 19th, 2010 at 10:44 am

I feel the love. Thank you! Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 19th, 2010 at 10:48 am

I hope you have read how many kids wish their mom and dad would honor their passions in the comments–thank you for trusting your heart over your mind. You are a rare one! This new generation thinks at the speed of light–imagine what they will do when we love and respect them. Thanks for having the courage to step into the game with them. Much love to you and your son. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 19th, 2010 at 10:50 am

Being judged feels like shit. We just want people to love us for who we are. The key is not to listen to the judgment–they are just talking to themselves. Let go of any shame–gamers have nothing to be ashamed of. We adults should be ashamed that we have stereotyped them so rudely. They say the best revenge is a joyful life. I wish that for you. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 19th, 2010 at 10:51 am

Cool thanks for the lingo–a troll. I love it! C

By gatewaytogold on November 19th, 2010 at 10:54 am

I’m flattered. Unfortunately, I am single and plan to stay that way–too many trolls out there my age; and I’m old enough to be your mom! LOL C

By gatewaytogold on November 19th, 2010 at 11:00 am

Well said. You know what I’ve learned from this whole interchange with Patrick and the gamers. People see in others what they are. The people that see awesome in the article are awesome. The people who see love in the article are loving. The people that hate it only do so because that is what they are–that is what they have inside. None of it is about me or the gamers really. Patrick just proves my point. All the gamers understood the article because they are AWESOME! You and all the others are just completely proving my point; you are clear, kind, and enlightened about life. And you don’t tolerate fools very well–FINALLY a generation that doesn’t tolerate fools. Thank you for being one of them. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 19th, 2010 at 11:24 am

Frankly, I’d be worried if you did respect me. Grammar was invented by humans; love was invented by that which some call God. I think we’d all be better off if we worked on our capacity to love instead of our capacity to edit. The gamers are just proving my point. They seem to get the article just fine. Not one has asked for clarity. They have been kind, witty, and fun to interact with, which is exactly what I observed in them that got me to write the article. I wrote it because I knew I had been given a glimpse into a beautiful world that others didn’t understand. I don’t intend to take a word of it back–they keep proving my point with their insights and comments.

Credibility and judgment are subjective. They exist in the eye of the beholder. I have no desire to please you. I attempted to answer your questions, but you just find more to criticize. You don’t know anything about my children or me because I shared very little–only that which I felt would spotlight the gamers.

I’ve had had the unbelievable privilege of learning from so may kids and teens. I can never give back what they have given me. I sincerely hope you don’t have children or a wife. But if you do, just try learning from them for once, it will change your life. I wish you well. Now you can have the last word if you want. I have no more to say. But I thank you because I’ve learned from you as well–not about grammar or writing. I probably won’t change my style. I learned that I still believed that people like you have the power to ruin my day. And once again, the gamers corrected me. LOL, Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 19th, 2010 at 11:25 am

That is awesome! Thanks for bringing Sweden into this community. Cathy

Great write up. I’ve been playing video games since I was four. My father recently said to me as a young adult “if you only spend as much time doing something productive that you spend on video games, you would be rich”.

He also always wondered where I get my quick thinking, uncanny learning ability, photographic memory, and incredible reflexes.

I never tried to explain the things that being a ‘lazy gamer’ has taught me, something I figured he would never understand, but… I just forwarded him a link to this article.

I hope he finally catches on.

By gatewaytogold on November 19th, 2010 at 11:57 am

No doubt in my mind where your quick thinking, uncanny learning ability, etc. comes from. I add to that something that I’ve observed is the amazing way gamers figure out the game without reading the directions for hours. I’m working on learning that skill.

Time doing stuff doesn’t make people rich; however, the skills you mentioned does–Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Donald Trump–I could go on and on. I’d bet on you. Cathy

Hello,

Thanks for the read – I too have passed this to my parents. Hopefully they can understand what I do when they hear it from someone their own age.

Thanks again.

Day9′s 100th video is simply put, beautiful and makes all us gamers remember why we put so many hours in games, and why it’s OKAY.

I’m sick of people telling me it’s NOT OKAY to game. And I’m 25. IT IS OKAY. Day9′s video makes it easier to understand why it’s okay.

nice article

Thanks you so much! Its really heartening to see a parent who took that time to understand their son’s hobby. I already emailed to my folks in the hope that they too will start to see Starcraft as so much more than a game.

holy crap, mom
gg, wp

Dude if I knew this was going to end with you having your children drop out of school I would’ve never retweeted it. It’s a nice article and all i liked the ‘master’ catchphrase but there is something very wrong about it. I would’ve dropped school too I wanted to very badly but not to sit at the computer all day long. You have to realise that those kids are so much smarter than you cause they have all the media to teach them all kinds of parameters about this world that was not so at hand when you were their age. That doesn’t mean that they do not need school. You need that in order to learn how to socialize, even if the stuff they learn is total crap, you just need to have them go through that social enviroment at least until they are 16-17 I guess that would be an average if I were to pick one..16-17. Anyway you also have to realise that the brain needs a lot of bodily exercise in order to function at its best. You have to have a very very very good peripheral blood circulation in order to keep a master-like aim for tenths of minutes in a row in Quake or to keep the details of the flow of a Starcraft match at hand. You do not get that by sitting in front of the computer. You just don’t. Brain needs lots of exercise to properly reach maturity time passing is nowhere near enough… If you can compensate for the social enviroment, teach your kids to do lots of sports and can provide for them and teach them how to provide for themselves in the future yea it’s a choice. To have them drop out. I guess it would also be a good choice if school like really really really sucked. I know mine did. But I wasn’t going to quit it just to sit around all day in front of the computer. I wanted to quit it to not have to sit around all day anymore….

Really you didn’t send your children to school and ruined countless opportunities for them, in ur so called theory of they will learn for themselves. this is the biggest bullshit ive ever read, big shit he can beat u in a game of scramble while making 7:50$ an hour at McDonald nice job great parenting.
This btw coming from the view of a 14 year old, i would have more to say if i was older

By Dave "BluBotL" C. on November 20th, 2010 at 2:20 pm

I agree wholeheartedly with the vast majority of this article and its conclusions, however, unfortunately, I know a number of gamers both in real life (as it were) and in gaming worlds who actually are lazy and unwise – indeed, generally the exact opposite to what you describe in this article.

In my experience, gaming can be as mindless as many would have you believe – for example, the Call of Duty series at its higher levels requires the quick decision making of a firefighter and the reactions of a fighter pilot, as well as the aforementioned mind of a chess player. However, at a more casual level, it comes down to little more than who can start shooting first. Indeed, some of its game modes simply require you to throw yourself headlong at an objective without caution nor punishment if you fail.

I am very interested in competitive Starcraft (though I don’t play it myself for fear of addiction in the lead-up to my final exams) and my brother plays competitive Mario Kart Wii (for such a community not only exists, but thrives). We have both played various FPS games at the level I previously described, and we are (or were, in my brother’s case) among the top of our subjects in school with almost no effort. I attribute this to our gaming, not to any innate talents. In school, I succeeded by learning how to figure problems out on my own. Unfortunately, the layout of the final exams (especially in the more difficult subjects, such as Extension II Mathematics – the highest level of mathematics available in high school in Australia) actually requires that you rote-learn responses, and rewards mindless reproduction of someone else’s answers.

I am nearly 18 and my brother is 20. We got a SNES when I was three years old, and I still remember playing Donkey Kong Country and Super Mario World just like Day9 and Tasteless played Starcraft together. We didn’t quite get as hooked on these games as they did on Starcraft, but in watching the Day9 Daily #100 I did draw a great many parallels between my life and his.

My parents, however, still see gaming with the stigmas we all know and hear of too often. Despite our sincerest efforts, my brother and I have yet to bring any sort of understanding of competitive gaming (or even mainstream gaming itself) to our parents, despite the fact that my mum plays all manner of casual games (Bejewelled, Zuma, etc) and we frequently bring out the Wii over Christmas to play some Guitar Hero and Wii Sports. They see “our gaming” (to use their term) as lazy and detrimental, while saying that “their gaming” is simply a turn-off.

In conclusion, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to write this article. While I might disagree with you somewhat, you are still the first ray of light peeking through the window from the great and scary ‘real world’ into the comfortable and easy-going gaming world. Of course, many adults would disagree with me on those descriptions. (:

By gatewaytogold on November 20th, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Very eloquently written. People have been gaming since the caveman days–the games just change. Every community has unwise people. I worked for the top accounting firm in the world with tons of Ivy League grads–and there were many unwise people. Gamers will have their share too. Thank you for writing. C

By gatewaytogold on November 20th, 2010 at 5:57 pm

My children asked to unschool. It was their choice. And you are very wrong with your stereotype that people need to go to school to make money. I worked for the top accounting firm in the world. Many of my millionaire clients did not even graduate from high school. They were amazing men and women with big dreams and a ton of creativity. I chose to learn from them and what an education I got. Nothing I learned in school compared to what I learned from them–not even close. But school opened the door for me to meet them–that was all.

I’m not against school; it can get you a great job. It did for me. But I made all my money as an entrepreneur. And the day I opened my business, I realized that school didn’t prepare me for entrepreneurship. I had to learn to follow my innate intelligence, rediscover my creative genius, and regain a clear mind. I had to learn to make decisions quickly and take risks. You can’t judge an experience until you walk in another person’s shoes. I’m putting up an article on unschooling tomorrow on this site. However, in short, a school is a building. To unschool means to NOT confine learning to a building. I does not mean uneducated. It means learning in everything you do. Schoolers typically learn during the day and while doing homework. My kids learned 24/7. We didn’t take off for summer vacations–learning was so much fun that we never stopped.

None of my children have ever worked at McDonalds, but if they chose to, I’d support it so long as they were happy. They are adults now, and none of them regret their decision. My oldest son owned two rental properties by the time he was 19. He was Jay Leno’s dance double a few weeks ago on TV. My daughter has worked with the top horse trainer in the world. My youngest son wants to own his own business as well. Unschoolers don’t limit their mind; they don’t judge others. But boy do others judge them. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 20th, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Did I say they sat in front of a computer? No, not even close. Sometimes they did but no more than most adult men watch sports on TV–and that doesn’t get judged at all. Oh, I could have added so much more but the point was to demonstrate why I recognized these qualities in Sean. People read so much into other people’s words. I’m putting up an article tomorrow on unschooling. You have bought the stereotype big time. You are not even close. I speak for home schoolers and unschoolers (who are judged as much or more than gamers)–THEY DO SOCIALIZE. What they don’t do is socialize with only people their own age. They don’t put people in boxes. They don’t stereotype or judge because they experienced so much of it. They are not lazy–they learn 24/7 in everything they do. Unschool means no school (a school is a building). It means no building. It doesn’t mean no education. Many people go to school everyday and come out completely uneducated. School and education are not equal. Learning to be authentic in conversation is rarely taught in school. That is why I called it life lessons–it was not anti school. It was about life lessons. I hope you can see that now. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 20th, 2010 at 6:21 pm

It is never Ok to judge what another finds fun until we’ve tried it out for ourselves. It is clear to me that if so may kids are drawn to these games and forums for so many hours there is something cool going on. Given the judgment I’ve received from the article, I have new respect for what the gamers tolerate. My hope is that if you all feel better about yourselves, you’ll show the world what you’ve been up to by changing it. My generation isn’t doing so good. C

I am glad that more parents are “getting” what I got a long time ago when my son learned his alphabet using my Commodore 64 when he was 2. Gaming is good. My son spends a lot of his free time gaming – - Starcraft 1 and 2, Minecraft, and a ton of other games. As his one friend put it when he was commenting in a live stream during a recent Starcraft 2 tournament my son was playing in “he’s the smartest kid in our school”. I would much rather have my son and his friends game and in my son’s case even design and program his own games than get involved in more unsavoury activities. Through gaming youth can build up social skills and communication skills, while practicing every subject from history to math. I too have watched Day 9′s 100th episode of Day 9 Daily two times and shed a tear or two both times because I have had a similar experience through gaming with my son. It has enriched both his life and mine.

By gatewaytogold on November 20th, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Thank you so much for your comment. When the children know we support their choices, they do well in everything. That was the point of my article although not everyone got it. And thank you for mentioning the social skills that these kids are learning through gaming. So many people commented that my children must lack social skills. My son has even learned about other cultures and languages as he plays against others from all over the world. We too did tons of PC games like Carmen Sandiego to learn geography. They were fun. Best wishes to you and your son. If you read through the comments, you will notice how many kids have written wishing for supportive parents. Cathy

I agree with the content but the way the article is written is just unberable. Games are good, you get your son’s interests and fell well about it. That’s all fine, but why did you overblow it like that?

Today during my search for content on the College paper. I just desired to say good post as well as good ability as a copywriter. I hope to be as good also some day time. Thanks

Do you people have a facebook fan page? I looked for one on twitter but could not discover one, I would really like to become a fan!

The problem with people who say words to the effect of “I don’t need to learn that because I’ll never use it” is that should they ever need to use it they won’t know it. You can’t use something you never learned. It’s hard for me to see the “I don’t want to do this exercise be as anything other than a form of wilful ignorance.

The reason people don’t like learning how to write at school is that it’s hard work. Games are designed to be fun to play so people would rather play games than write. That doesn’t mean that we should drop reading, riting and rithmetic from schools and teach Starcraft.

By gatewaytogold on November 21st, 2010 at 2:08 pm

I hear you as I too used to think that way. But my children didn’t get that point of view–it kept us on opposing sides of the fence. When something is presented as fun, it is. When something is presented as hard work, it is. And children with lightning-fast minds, don’t get hard work. Fun and work do not have to be opposites. As an entrepreneur, I found things every day I didn’t know. And I learned them quickly because I needed them. It is true that necessity is the mother of invention. Most of what we learn in school we forget. What we learn in life experience, we never forget. When children can’t see the value in something, it is the parent’s job to show them the value. I just posted another article on unschooling. You might enjoy it as I address that very point. It also addresses the little know secret that reading, riting and rithmetic can be learned much more quickly when taught at the right time and by the right person. Thank you for writing. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 21st, 2010 at 2:10 pm

I don’t but not sure you are looking for my page. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 21st, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Thanks.

By gatewaytogold on November 21st, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Why do you feel it is overblown? I didn’t make anything up–I reported it as it happened for me. Overblown implies it was exaggerated or made up. If it feels overblown to you maybe it is because you can’t understand actually enjoying stepping in someone else’s shoes and finding it interesting and exciting. That is all that happened. You should try it. Misery loves company but you won’t find company here. C

I’ll start off by saying that I’m a gamer, and I love that you’re a parent who supports it. But I feel like your newfound point of view is more than a little bit biased (after all, your sources are your children, which you’re already biased towards agreeing with, and one extreme gamer on the Internet, which from that description seems like you should be wary to listen to him in the first place).

Gaming’s a great pasttime to just let loose and have fun. And sure, it can ‘teach’ you a few things here and there. For starters, it gives you lightning quick motor skills (I can now boast 130-140wpm). I guess it helps a little bit with strategy making (though I’m pretty sure living itself gives you those tools). Some even teach you minor Physics concepts (Gunbound: projectile motion and angles, or Portal: momentum!). And what I find greatest about gaming, it can connect you to a whole network of fellow players, allowing you to meet people worldwide, make friendships, learn about other cultures/languages, etc.

**But it is NOT anywhere near the equivalent of a school, much less of a university.**

This is coming from someone who graduated salutatorian from highschool, now goes to one of the top universities in the nation, and still brought along copies of Halo, Left for Dead 2, Portal, a handful of other titles, and a newly purchased Call of Duty: Black Ops. So yes, I play games. But I learn hell of a lot more from going to classes, taking tests, and, yes, memorizing seemingly useless stuff.

But your idea that education is all “about creating conformists that blindly obey authority figures” is 100% entirely wrong. Rather, education gives you the fundamental knowledge and the upper-level thinking skills you need to do entirely the opposite: question everything. Sure, the youngest of kids know how to ask “why” and question the world, but what comes after that? With a solid education, you can often FIND those answers.

Learning things that you feel like you’ll never need in life often do seem pointless at the time, and at times I do get really frustrated that all I’m doing is memorizing junk to pass a test and then forget everything afterwards. But more than that, education gives you the building blocks for upper level problem-solving and other actual life applications that DO come in handy, especially if you want to do something to add to the general knowledge of the world. If everyone decided to ‘unschool’ their children, who would be the next great scientists to invent something new? Or researchers to develop a new drug to cure diseases? Engineers and architects? Where would we get our lawyers, businessmen, musicians, teachers, managers, workforce, everything? How would the world EVOLVE in knowledge and understanding without education?

Simple, it wouldn’t. I say this with full sincerity and genuine concern for the future of your children: You are doing yourself and your children a disfavor by taking them out of school. Winning a scrabble game does nothing to prove that gaming teaches more than schooling. If we had a world full of gamers, then sure, we’d all be well prepared to tackle a zombie apocalypse. But we wouldn’t have homes, buildings, bridges, running water, computers (to run those games!), and pretty much everything else in life that’s important.

By gatewaytogold on November 21st, 2010 at 7:05 pm

I understand where you are coming from. But you kind of jumped to the conclusion with me. The article was not about school or about my son. It was about the wisdom that Sean was displaying that I have seen in the gaming community. People think I’m against school, and they don’t realize that I have a Ph.D. So obviously, I went to school. Read my article on this site about unschooling before you judge me too harshly. In hindsight, I wish I had never mentioned my relationship to unschooling because people missed the point of the article. I put it in the article to allow the reader to share in my perspective, to walk in my shoes.

The people who are judging it have no idea what unschooling involves. I’m against memorizing useless things, absolutely. I’m against the ancient ways of teaching when technology is providing so many new, fast ways to learn. I’m very much against making learning harder than it needs to be. That was my point. Many kids spend their time gaming because we adults think they should learn like we did. Writing the article was an admission of my error of thinking–I bought the stereotype at one time too. I wanted those children who are drawn to gaming to feel a bit better about themselves.

Let me share a secret with you–a true life lesson. When you judge something–it doesn’t change–it gets stuck. If gaming is wrong for any child, and people stop judging the child, they will be naturally drawn to something else, just as you were. And if it is right for them, they will keep playing. I wrote the article so people would give gamers a break–no other reason. I’ve found the gaming community to be intelligent, caring, and supportive. My son has met kids from all over the world. I listen to his strategy meetings, and they are as clear as the business meetings I attended when I worked for the top accounting firm in the world.

You don’t have to be concerned about my children. They are happy, well adjusted, and successful young adults. Most of the great inventions don’t come from what someone learned in school. They come from creative people who never stop learning. Did Bill Gates or Steve Jobs learn how to make computers in school. No, their ideas were inspired. I believe Steve Jobs actually dropped out of school. Inventors are the true unschoolers who don’t confine learning to a building or time period. They are aware, creative, and focused, qualities that I often see in gamers and often unschoolers. But you see, if we stereotype them and call them lazy, that will stick. Their gifts will never manifest in this world.

I’m not one to reply to nasty emails. But with this article, I’ve done it again and again because I believe in these kids. If I allow people to trash my support of them, then I’m giving up on them. I won’t do that. There are millions of children playing games and learning how to tackle a zombie apocalypse. If we hate them and make them wrong, they will eventually use their knowledge and gifts to get even. If we support them and appreciate their gifts, they will use those gifts to make the world a better place. Knowledge is easy to get these days–you can study anything on line. But love and support, and appreciation for someone’s unique point of view is quite rare. I suspect you were so bothered by my article because you have a unique point of view that wants to be expressed–do it. Let your inspiration guide you, not your anger. Thank you for writing. Cathy

Hopefully America will someday realize that Starcraft is just as rewarding as training for basketball or football. (if not way more rewarding.)

I’ve heard about Day9 from people in the SC2 community but I haven’t had time to watch any of his YouTube videos. This would surely make me do so.

Loved the article.

:)

Big ups!
-Mangix
Neutralcreeps.com Editor

I’m adding your blog’s rss feed so that I can see your new posts. Keep up the good work!

What a great resource!

I was thinking similar thoughts! Thx for sharing!Cu

Great read! Thanks from Brazil!

Most of the times i visit a blog I notice that most blogs are amateurish.On the other hand,I could honestly say that you writting is decent and your website solid.

Hi and greetings from Denmark.

Amazing write-up you captured some of the good things about Day9 and gaming overall. Please support your kids playing computers, the skills they get in making choices, language, social skills and knowledge of other cultures are priceless. I have used them in my “adult” life as a manager, many of the skills I have, are tested, inspired by or otherwise related to many years as a online gamer.

I work at a quite large company as head of department in online marketing. Nice going for a kid that played to much counter-strike, quake, RA, MUD, WoW, SC and loads of other games.

Best regards

Martin

By gatewaytogold on November 23rd, 2010 at 11:51 am

Thank you so much for your comment. So many have written telling me the skills you mentioned only come from school. I’m so glad that those who are living proof of the value of learning from everything are showing up and commenting. Here’s to your continued success. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 23rd, 2010 at 11:56 am

Thank you; your support means a lot to me. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 23rd, 2010 at 11:57 am

Hi, Thank you for commenting from Brazil–cool place. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 23rd, 2010 at 11:59 am

Your welcome. These kids are really appreciating our support of them. They are really brilliant, caring kids that will go a long way with our love and support. I appreciate your support of them. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 23rd, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Thank you. If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy my unschooling article. It has ideas for schooled children as well as unschooling includes schools of all types. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 23rd, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Thank you Rob,
Your support means so much. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 23rd, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Yes, watch the 100th episode; you will LOVE it. Day9 is just so COOL as is the SC2 community. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 23rd, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Oh I hope so too. Somehow in life some things get labeled as good and others bad without people really taking a close look at the merits. Somehow nerdy gamers got a crappy label that they don’t deserve. I hope some people will look at them different one day soon. Thank you for writing. Cathy

Thank you!

Whats up! Impressive article! I am just a frequent website visitor (a bit more like addict :P) of your website even though I had a concern. I’m certainly not certain whether it is the right site to ask, but you have no spam comments. I get comments similar to that of watch movies online just about every day. May you assist me? Thanks much.

Thank you for that amazing read Cathy.

By gatewaytogold on November 24th, 2010 at 9:48 am

Thank you for reading it. You see what you are so thanks for being amazing. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 24th, 2010 at 9:56 am

Absolutely. In all the comments on nerdy gamers, I only got three obvious spam. This site is done in wordpress. So first of all I set up to approve comments. I approve everything, even the negative ones. But if it is a sales job, I label it as spam and that way you guys don’t have to read it. I also have something called a plugin which is something that you download for various tasks. These are all made by nerdy gamer types to fix their problems and then they give them to us non-tech types for FREE. This is just another reason why I love these guys. They are so passionate about technology that they fix our problems in their spare time. I have several plugins and they seem to filter out most of the crap that wordpress doesn’t catch (and I think they do a pretty good job as well of filtering spam).

I hope that helps. And thank you for supporting my website. Cathy

I like your site theme can you tell me the name of it or where you downloaded it? cya.

Hiya! Nice blog! I’m also a regular visitor to your site (a bit more like addict :P) of this website however I had a query. I’m so not actually absoluterly certain if it is the right place to ask, but there are no spam comments. I recieve comments similar to watch movies online on a regular basis. Are you going to you assist me? Thanks for your insight.

Cool post mate.

Cathy,

You should understand something about Sarah and Patrick: They are profoundly disturbed by your lack of stupidity, right-wing extremist views on scrabble, and your unfailing love for god, life, and everything in between.

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
– Mother Teresa

On a side note, If Sam is looking for a community, we would be more than glad to have him at fortheswarm.org, our small but growing Zerg community!
-Jacob

Nice article.

I agree with you Ms.Cathy, about the tragedy,that is the educational system.Here are my thoughts.

When we enjoy doing something, it stimulates a passion for learning.
This is I believe why the educational system needs an overhaul and catch up with our times.It needs to implement new methods of teaching that makes it more interesting,involving to children and help them not only develop their skills but imagination and creativity as well.

Nevertheless though, I still believe school is important, so children can develop their social skills with their peers and gain general “universal” knowledge in matters such as mathematics and physics.

I will admit that I don’t know what unschooling involves as you put it,but I do know that at school they explore a wide variety of subjects and that is I believe an important experience to have.
I’m looking forward reading your article about unschooling.

- A gamer that loves that he loves Starcraft.

Hello Cathy!
I’m from Brazil, and I loved your article..
Once you get into the starcraft comunity, you are talking to a worldwide comunity that plays for love, not just for win.
We don’t get only life lessons from games, but languages too (like english.. hehe). I’ve grown up playing games, and I learned a lot from those games.
I hope more people like you can understand why we are gamers, and why we prefer to be in front of a computer all the day instead of talk to common people that just want money, power, and reason.. speaking about sports, parties, cars.. these thing don’t really matter for gamers.. our life is funnier and happier like it is.
I hope you enjoy our community..

peace!

By gatewaytogold on November 26th, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Thank you for proving my point. Your English is great by the way. And you describe very well what I’ve witnessed in the Starcraft community. It is a community that goes beyond borders. The elitists get kicked out unless they can learn to behave. Really, it could be a class on government in school. Thank you for writing. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 26th, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Thank you for writing. I love that you love Starcraft. And I think the necessary changes in schools will come from the children and teens themselves. Learning is a natural way of life made unnatural in schools. In the Starcraft community, people learn from each other without effort and with great fun. One night my son had something weird happen to his computer–don’t remember what. Another Starcraft player who was into fixing computers from Europe stayed on line with him for three hours until they fixed it. I was so touched by the level of support for another, and my son learned more about computers that night than in a semester of school. His Starcraft friend didn’t send him a bill–nor did he expect something in return. He did it as a gift to a fellow Starcraft friend. That is the kind of thing you players are bringing to the table–thank you! Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 26th, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Thank you for being yet another gamer that gets the power of love over elitism. I forwarded the sight for your community to Sam and I’m sure he will check it out. Cathy

Hey 9tlz7q, very interesting post, it really got me thinking. Thank you. qml1e

Thanks for sharing.

Hey wufl8h, very interesting post, it really got me thinking. Thank you. sr353

I am 60 years old. My son (kevin) is 19. I am an achiever, a learner, an athelete, and fairly accomplished academically. Kevin does not appear to have any of my traits. I encouraged him to take on something of interest, so that he could have some form of social identity. Since he has a high IQ, I encouraged him to play video and computer games since he was 6 years old as a way to keep his mind active. He is now a full fledge “gamer”.

I still support his gaming habit (literally). But I pray that one day he will be successful in using his gaming knowledge/experience to make a living on his own, and have a life independent from me. I would have failed him if all he wants to do is game and do nothing else. That is NOT the meaning of life that I meant for him to learn.

I am thrilled to read about your sons worldly ambition with Starcraft, and their many accomplishments. I am very happy to know that you a proud mother. I am proud of Kevin also. He is a really good person, smart, with a most gentle heart. If I die tomorrow, I just hope that he will find a way to be self supportive.

By gatewaytogold on November 26th, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Don’t worry, Kevin will find a way to use those skills to make money as my children have. I can assure you that your love and support of Kevin means the world to him. Just read the posts on this article of the tons of kids that wrote to say they wished someone would support them. You might find a part of my article on unschooling interesting. It is about the middle of the article where I talk about Daniel Greenberg. I think the story I share about the kid who only wanted to fish will give you the confidence to know that you are doing the right thing and Kevin will one day find the right work. Thank you for writing and for being a rare open-minded one in the world today. Best wishes to you and Kevin. Cathy

very interesting details you have noted , regards for putting up.

Thanks for the post, keep posting stuff

Hey 2mu1eimvmq, very interesting post, it really got me thinking. Thank you. ocjil fxlgn

I like this web blog very much so much good information.

Incredible. You come off as a open minded Diamond in a sea of Jet. I just had to say that.

Great article! Its great to see someone willing to venture into the gaming world and see its merits as opposed to automatically dismissing it.

Sadly most people arn’t as mindful as you.

I like this blog so much, saved to fav.

The best article I’ve ever read. I love it when parents understand what kids find educational and fun can be resourceful. Thank you for writing this, it altered the way I think quite a bit.

By gatewaytogold on November 28th, 2010 at 11:16 am

Thank you. I love when my kids remind me to have fun. Us adults sometimes forget. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 28th, 2010 at 11:17 am

Thank you. I very much appreciate your support. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 28th, 2010 at 11:19 am

I hope to do my part to change that. Everyday I see more to love about the gaming communities. CAthy

By gatewaytogold on November 28th, 2010 at 11:20 am

Thank you!

I’d incessantly want to be update on new articles on this site, saved to favorites ! .

By gatewaytogold on November 28th, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Awesome. Thank you for your support. Cathy

some really quality blog posts on this website , bookmarked .

By gatewaytogold on November 29th, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Thank you for your support. C

glad to be one of several visitants on this awful internet site : D.

A good read, but some of the tangential remarks about education, business, and war were a bit distracting. By the end, it began to sound more like you were trying to find validation for your earlier child-rearing decisions.

Some truly nice stuff on this website , I love it.

I like this post, enjoyed this one thanks for posting .

By gatewaytogold on November 30th, 2010 at 9:45 am

Thank you–the support is most appreciated. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 30th, 2010 at 9:45 am

Thank you

By gatewaytogold on November 30th, 2010 at 9:49 am

Some think that but it wasn’t the intent. I’m urging people to let go of those old systems and to look to the new ideas where they aren’t working. That is easier for some than for others. That is the nature of this website and really what guided my intention. Thanks for writing. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on November 30th, 2010 at 9:52 am

You sound very confused. You should never be glad to be at a place that you don’t like. Best thing about the internet is you can hit close anytime. It is time you figured that out. C

You made a number of nice points there. I did a search on the issue and found mainly persons will agree with your blog.

Appreciate it for helping out, excellent information.

I’m still learning from you, but I’m trying to achieve my goals. I definitely enjoy reading everything that is posted on your blog.Keep the aarticles coming. I loved it!

Hi guys, here is Anthony from Canada My passions are Electronics and Athletism. I work for a video game qa company.

[url=http://www.videogamelocalization.net]Video Game Localization[/url]

Excellent information here. This interesting post made me smile. Maybe if you throw in a couple of pics it will make the whole thing more interesting.

I enjoy looking at and I think this website got some truly useful stuff on it! .

If only people could see how much truth there is in gaming communities, unlike real life situations where in certain cases you have to hide your true feelings in order to not offend another. I particularly liked this part where you said “You don’t win because your mother has connections. You don’t lose because a judge made some biased decision. You don’t get respect because you are older or have an advanced degree. You get respect because you won. And, you won because you deserved to win.”

Respect is defined, from what I see, as ‘obeying orders’ and ‘not talking back even when one is right’. However much that I hate to say this but some parents never actually ‘listened’ to what their child is suggesting or talking about and instead just ask them to focus on their studies and other stuff. I find this just… sad, somehow, in a way.

The concept/pathway of life, from what I see in most Asian parents (I’m from Malaysia) is mainly study hard -> get good results -> get into a good college -> continue studying hard and get good results -> get into a good university -> get a steady job. I think that it is every parent’s dream to get their child to grow up and have a happy/steady life with no money problems, but then again the misconception with most Asian parents is that results = everything. Sure, straight As might be able to prove to others that you are smart/work harder than others, but I find that there are other things in life that are worth more than results, plus there’s only a certain limitation to where results can actually bring your own child to.

School teaches everything but life lessons, I find this ironic somehow.

Ah, I apologize for straying too far away from the actual topic lol. I came across your article on a local forum. Its a good and refreshing read for me, and it makes me happy to know how people like you exist. You are truly one of a kind :)

By gatewaytogold on December 5th, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Thank you very much for expressing your thoughts. I did all the study hard stuff as a child, and I got the good job too; and then one day I looked at everyone around me and they were all miserable. They had respect and even money, but not one knew how to laugh anymore or how to relax. They didn’t care about other people or really love anymore. I quit and decided that from that day on my measure of success would be how much I loved and laughed each day. I don’t succeed everyday, but I’ve never once regretted that decision. And it is a funny thing, I’ve never had to worry about money or health much either since I made that decision. I am so happy to see that the gaming communities are doing their best to keep fun, truth, and real respect alive. I’ll support that any day. Cathy

This is an amazing article. I am going to promote it a lot. Great job!

By gatewaytogold on January 5th, 2011 at 9:36 am

Thank you. The support is very much appreciated.

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I think other website proprietors should take this internet site as an example , very clean and fantastic user genial design .

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As a newbie interested I’m deeply impressed by your article. Great research about a thought provoking subject.

I must say one thing…You are truly a momentous researcher

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I enjoyed reading your post a lot and can see that the majority of comments are in agreement. Keep it up!

Hey, I just wanted to state that I found your website helpful. It is outlined in an tidy fashion, and your articles are well-written. Are you a professional writer? You seem to have the writing competencies to bring in a very good living. Anyhow, just an idea.

Take care!

By gatewaytogold on January 19th, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Thank you very much. I love to write more than anything; and I do hope to make a living from it. I appreciate your support very much. Cathy

WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..more wait .. ;)…

This place is awesome, I like what you’re doing here. Keep them coming.

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By gatewaytogold on January 19th, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Thank you very much for your support and your comment. Cathy

glad to be one of the visitors on this awesome internet site : D.

I was wondering if you ever considered changing the layout of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two images. Maybe you could space it out better?

I have been examining a few of your posts and it’s pretty nice stuff. I will make sure to bookmark your blog.

I respect your piece of work, appreciate it for all the great posts .

A powerful share, I simply gave this to a colleague who was doing just a little analysis on this. And he purchased me breakfast as a result of that I discovered it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the deal with! Thnkx for spending the time to debate this, I really feel strongly about it and love studying extra on this topic. If possible, as you turn into expertise, would you share thoughts updating your blog with extra details? It’s highly helpful for me. Large thumb up for this blog submit!

By gatewaytogold on January 20th, 2011 at 9:38 am

Good observation–I’ll definitely do more images and spacing. Thank you

By gatewaytogold on January 20th, 2011 at 9:38 am

Glad to have an awesome visitor.

I like the point you made there, but I am not sure I could reasonably apply that in a postive way.

Great article. Waiting for more.

I want to say your blog is kinda awesome. I always like to hear something new about this because I have the similar blog in my Country on this subject so this help´s me a lot. I did a search on the theme and found a good number of blogs but nothing like this.Thanks for sharing so much in your blog.. Greets, Sivija

some times its a pain in the ass to read what blog owners wrote but this web site is real user pleasant! .

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By gatewaytogold on January 21st, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Glad you like it; I plan to post more on that topic later this month.

By gatewaytogold on January 21st, 2011 at 3:16 pm

You kind of just look for opportunities. Keep it in the back of your mind and you’ll find a way.

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I admit, I have not been on this webpage in a long time… however it was another joy to see It is such an important topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. I thank you to help making people more aware of possible issues.Great stuff as usual.

By gatewaytogold on January 24th, 2011 at 6:33 pm

You might want to check out the unschool article as it is related in theory. Also, if you are interested in beliefs you can check out my other site, http://www.nolabelsnolies.com.

Wow, this is very interesting to read. Have you ever considered submitting articles to magazines?

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excellent article very helpful will visit again one day

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I feel like you could probably teach a class on how to make a great blog. This is fantastic! I have to say, what really got me was your design. You certainly know how to make your blog more than just a rant about an issue. Youve made it possible for people to connect. Good for you, because not that many people know what theyre doing.

What I want to know is why I should care? I mean, not to say that what youve got to say isnt important, but I mean, its so generic. Everyones talking about this man. Give us something more, something that we can get behind so we can feel as passionately about it as you do.

Hello there. I am a long time visitor of this blog, but however I need bring to your attention that everytime I load your site using Opera, roughly half of the article get cut off. I had a co-worker to load this article with the same exact browser as me. They also is having issues loading the whole post. I have come to believe it is due to your css styling. You should consider modifying the css, because I know that I am not the only person that cannot see the whole posts. You would keep a lot repeat visitors if you fix this problem.

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Good luck getting people behind this one. Though you make some VERY fascinating points, youre going to have to do more than bring up a few things that may be different than what weve already heard. What are trying to say here? What do you want us to think? It seems like you cant really get behind a unique thought. Anyway, thats just my opinion.

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I feel like you could probably teach a class on how to make a great blog. This is fantastic! I have to say, what really got me was your design. You certainly know how to make your blog more than just a rant about an issue. Youve made it possible for people to connect. Good for you, because not that many people know what theyre doing.

I have a well traveled edu blog here at university and was wondering if I could repost this there? Thanks:)

By gatewaytogold on January 27th, 2011 at 10:48 pm

Sure, I appreciate the support

Hey I just wanted to let you know, I actually like the piece of writing on your site. But I am utilising Firefox on a machine running version 9.04 of Ubuntu and the UI aren’t quite correct. Not a big deal, I can still fundamentally read the articles and explore for info, but just wanted to inform you about that. The navigation bar is kind of challenging to use with the config I’m running. Keep up the superb work!

Would you be inquisitive about exchanging links?

By gatewaytogold on January 28th, 2011 at 4:48 pm

I appreciate the request but I don’t exchange links. My philosophy is just to provide the best copy I can and trust that people will like to read it. Good luck to you.

By gatewaytogold on January 28th, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Thanks or the info. I use wordpress so I’m not sure I can fix it, but I’ll follow up. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on January 28th, 2011 at 4:56 pm

thanks, I look forward to hearing more.

By gatewaytogold on January 28th, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Thanks, I’ll try writing to wordpress again.

By gatewaytogold on January 28th, 2011 at 5:01 pm

I can’t make you be passionate, nor can Sean–he’s just a great example. Sean is cool because he loves what he does. That would be my advice. Find out what you love to do and don’t stop. Then you’ll see why everyone loves Sean. Cathy

By gatewaytogold on January 28th, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Thanks for the offer, but I don’t exchange links.

I wanted to say my deepest welcome and pleasure visiting your website!

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Hello there!

I would like to apologize about my english. I’m not an EUA native so this is not my primary language. However i will do my best to make myself comprehensible.

I’m a journalist and i work at a gaming industry on Brazil. Your post just said everything we try to say everyday. Looks like we can’t because we are employees and not mom’s.

It’s just amazing. Thanks for sharing your insight with the whole gaming community.

Best Regards,

JJ

By gatewaytogold on August 23rd, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Sure, you are welcome to quote me. If you need my name as opposed to just my sight, it is Cathy Eck.

Everyone loves it when individuals come together and share thoughts. Great blog, keep it up!

It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d most
certainly donate to this excellent blog! I guess
for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
I look forward to brand new updates and will share this website with
my Facebook group. Talk soon!

Thank you for your nice comment. I do have a donate button, it is on the home (front) page. Donations are never expected as I’d write anyway, but they are very much appreciated. They help to cover the costs of maintaining the blog. Thank you, Cathy

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  • Beliefs! The Lies that Blind You!

    The word belief has the word "lie" within it, hinting at its purpose.

    The word belief has the word lie within it because every belief is a lie. We lose ourselves when we confuse beliefs with the truth.

    As we let go of beliefs, we change our minds. As we change our minds, we change our relationships. As we change our relationships, we change our world.

    The most loving thing we can do is to drop our beliefs and judgments about others and set them free. When we free others, we also free ourselves.

    Positive thinking is not something that you need to do; your true, authentic Self IS positive. Find your Self and you will never have a negative thought again.

    Used properly, your emotions can lead you down the shortest path to your authentic Self. Denying or suppressing them is a ticket to hell.

    No matter how ornate your mask, your true Self is much more beautiful. Be Your Self!

    Many will attempt to fill you with their truth; but real and lasting transformation is about letting go of your beliefs and unveiling your OWN truth.

    Esoteric means hidden. Esoteric wisdom means hidden wisdom. Esoteric healing means to heal by finding the hidden cause.

    The ancient wisdom keepers lived their lives based on the law of cause and effect. They never fixed a problem because a problem is an effect of a mental cause. Today, we call the mental causes beliefs.

    In modern times we've become so good at projecting and suppressing our beliefs that we hide the causal beliefs even from ourselves.

    We often confuse our beliefs or opinions with the truth. This causes our problems to become chronic or permanent.

    If our mind believes something is true, it won't let it go. We first have to discriminate between true and false (beliefs). Then we can let the beliefs go. What remains is the truth.