August 21, 2008

Stay in school, kids

My brother hepped me today to the story (and I know it was published last month, so spare me the "It's old" chorus) of Blake Peebles, a North Carolina teen who is so very, very talented that his parents have allowed him to drop out of high school in order to pursue his dream of fame and fortune. And what is his particular skill?  All-Star pitcher?  Piano prodigy?  Gifted painter?  Um, no, not exactly...

As the music begins, Blake quickly presses buttons on the guitar in time to a speed-metal tune blasting from the giant TV. It is an odd sensation, to watch a young man control the sounds of a rock song with a toy instrument, but this is "Guitar Hero," one of the most popular video game franchises in recent memory. Blake is one of the better players in the country.
That's right, he hopes to become a professional "Guitar Hero" player. I really wasn't aware that was something one could make a living at, but Blake's doing it. Well, sort of, anyway...
Among the prizes he's won playing "Guitar Hero" tournaments: gift certificates, gaming equipment and chicken sandwiches.
Well, that's more than I ever got out of playing video games, but that doesn't exactly sound like the basis for a solid career.

But the most interesting aspect of this story, for me anyway, has to be Blake's parents, Mike and Hunter Peebles, who may just be the weakest-willed people ever to raise children:
They would have preferred that he stay in high school with his brother. But he bugged them until they let him quit.

"We couldn't take the complaining anymore," says Hunter. "He always told me that he thought school was a waste of time."

Um, is it just me, or is the traditional response to that kind of thing usually something more along the lines of "Quit yer bitching and go to school, damnit" and/or "For the last time, you are not dropping out of school to play that stupid goddamn video game"?  Because I'm pretty sure that would have been my parents' response to me, had I spent a lot of time complaining that I wanted to quit school to play video games.

Posted by: Sean M. at 01:45 AM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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