Like Father, Like Son

Written by Joe Martin

February 26, 2010 // 10:59 a.m.

Tags: #games #joe-being-sentimental #joes-dad #monkey-island #my-dad #reading #story #tegra #thief

I had an interesting experience the other day. It was late and I, staggering home from a party through the streets of Reading, overheard something unusual. My ears caught a familiar word in the lull between the music I was listening to and I looked around. It was a dreary, drizzly night and the streets were almost empty, so it didn’t take me long to locate the source.

The word I had heard was ‘Tegra’ and what I saw was a father walking behind me, explaining something to his young son. The kid must have been no older than 11, in fact.

Now, I should clarify that I don’t really know very much about Tegra. I know the basics, but my knowledge pales in comparison to the rest of the bit-tech.net and Custom PC staff. It’s why you don’t see me writing graphic card reviews. Still, I knew enough to follow a bit of this eavesdropped conversation in which the Dad explained what Tegra was to his boy.

I was intrigued. It wasn’t the type of conversation you’d expect to hear on a city street at 11AM and the fact that the boy was earnestly interested fascinated me. Discreetly and slyly, I stopped my music and let the pair overtake me. We were heading in the same direction and I wanted to hear more about the conversation, so I listened in for a bit as I made my way home.
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Like Father, Like Son
Like father, like son

I only followed the two for a few minutes before the turned down a different path and I decided to stay my course and guide my sobering body back to bed, but I heard them have a remarkable discussion. The father (I presume he was the Dad anyway, not just some friendly IT consultant who’d picked up a follower) told his son all about what Tegra was, how it worked and what it meant for current software trends. I can’t remember the exact words, but he ended up prophesising something bad about Tegra's influence on future hardware.

What amazed me most though was the fact that the boy was actually listening to all this, asking questions when he could which belied a knowledge deeper than mine. Clearly, the boy knew a lot about hardware – and it seemed that he had inherited it from his Dad.

Like Father, Like Son
My own Dad's interest in the Thief games was important to me

That got me thinking along similar lines, making me wonder if I hadn’t once shared discussions with my Dad about computers or videogames. I’ve spoken before about how important my Dad was in encouraging my interest in games and how he has at times shared it, but I always considered that a bit of a fluke. I, perhaps naively, didn’t really consider that such enthusiasm was so often inherited or passed down.

So, if my story isn’t as unique as I once presumed, then tell me yours. Was there someone who encouraged you to take an interest in computers and gaming or was it something you came to on your own? Is your enthusiasm based on nature or nurture? Hit the comments below and let me know your thoughts.

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