In Praise of Why A few years ago I found an essay I loved ( http://www.soilandhealth.org/03sov/0303critic/0303...) 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.
on 2006-05-05 11:54