Why?


#1

In Praise of Why

A few years ago I found an essay I loved (
http://www.soilandhealth.org/03sov/0303critic/030301studentasnigger.html)
I
guess mainly because it was so outrageous and I was a graduate student
at
the time.

So I love attack mode and Why’s opening lines in the Poignant opus that
rail
against Java (…huge wall of Java books …) charmed me. But the rest
of
the thing struck me as weird (still does, but read on).

I’m an old fart now and have forgotten what it’s like to be a kid and
discover humor, the only exception being an abiding and inordinate
fondness
for the three stooges (especially Curly – knyuck, knyuck, knyuck).

So I got dragged to a Scooby Doo movie recently and fell asleep, but not
before witnessing with a horror a couple of gross farting scenes. I
told
by boss about it the next day with the qualifier “they show this stuff
to
kids???”. He said “yeah, kids love it”. I thought about it and began
to
remember…then I think I actually got it.

So I now also grok Amanda … and the world of Why was revealed to me.
I
trotted my 11 year old son over to the Poignant Guide and he laughed
like
crazy at the Cartoon Foxes and did a little programming, but soon got
bored. Wait a minute Alex, let’s try one more thing, Dwe… Array. Wow,
how
do I make my R kill big time (He knows all about cheats). I showed him
the
character’s values and he promptly put in a hugh number for the Rabbit’s
strength. He was delighted to see the larger and larger negative life
values appear whenever he attacked. Dad, is this how all my Gameboy
programs work? Yes, son. Hey, dad I want to do 6dof animation too, can
you
teach me? Yes son, here’s a few books for you – Computer Graphics,
Foley
et al and Physics for Game Developers, Bourg. Not sure he’ll read them
right away, but the whole episode saved me another $49.95 Game Cube
cartridge.

Life is good and Why does indeed RULE…my son asked me on the way home
from
school the other day can we stop and check the bookstore for Learn to
Program. So Why, how olde are you, really, somewhere around 11?
Rhetorical
question … you are a genius and may have changed a young life. I can
see
it now "Alex, the game programming guru has just released another grisly
but
eagerly awaited, best selling 6dof Rabbit game. Alex, in his press
release
credits his Dad, who lives in his son’s mansion in Beverly Hills…no
mention of why.