2:33 PM, Wednesday, December 5th, 2018:
A year ago this time I wrote an entry about Cam beating Mario at 3. It was clear he was special then and I guess it's time for an update...
Sadly, the next day he did in fact beat me and I don't have it on tape... but the truth is? He didn't blink an eye. If you're a Mario Kart player you know there's a level of excellence where once you've attained it, you're in nearly every race and it can come down to some randomness. Now, I still beat him handily every time we play but one false move and he can get me. He's now to that level and what it takes to get to that level is kind of hard to explain. Besides the normal basics of maneuvering you have to use every section of the track to get boosts. You make sure to hit jump on every ramp and power slide every corner. He does that. Then, item management requires you to know when to use items defensively or offensively based on your position. Always getting and holding 10 coins for mazimum speed as well as getting them even if you're AT ten to keep your opponent from gaining top speed... but then there's the part that made me realize his brain works in a very different way: he's watching my screen while he does this. He's giving ME advice. He's carrying on conversations while doing ALL of this. Simply put, most adults cannot do this. It's like being able to sing or play an instrument... it's something you just have the ability to do and you can either work on that part of your brain or not - but you can't LEARN it.
Talya is a perfect example. She's now gotten into gaming because of Cam and wanting to play with him. She's very good. In Mario Kart she gets the majority of everything I described above, but if I told her during a race to look at the other screens for strategy while also doing the basics I think it would melt her brain. It's too much. Like "my cup is full, stop pouring" too much. It's simply a level of multi-tasking that isn't there for most people. And yes, he has it at 4. Believe it or not I noticed this before he ever picked up a controller. I caught him watching a YouTube video at 2 of a Mario game and saw his eyes darting all over the screen at everything that was happening. It wasn't an overwhelmed "darting" it was an analytical surveying of the screen. Now I know I was most definitely right when I thought it was unique.
So where do we go from here? I think I'm gonna try and start a gaming channel featuring him. He's too young to have his own and we don't let him play enough for him to really do it like the big boys but we do play every Sunday morning. So maybe we just do an hour live-stream every Sunday and see if anyone notices? We'll see. But I want to make sure it's a passive thing and that he's pretty unaware of it because I hate kids on the internet almost as much as I hate parents that PUT their kids on the internet. That being said, I may be able to do it so passively that by the time he's a teenager he'll have an actual built-in audience and the opportunities will abound. That's a long way off and he's only getting better.
Alright CamBone, welcome to the big leagues.