Andy Baio had a son in 2004, and he’s been performing an experiment of sorts on Eliot ever since. When Eliot was old enough to show interest in video games, Baio didn’t let him play the hottest and newest titles. No, he went way back to the beginning and made Eliot play through video game history in chronological order. He started with 1979’s Galaxian, Rally-X (1980), Bosconian (1981), Dig Dug (1982), Pac-Man (1980), Super Pac-Man (1982), Pac-Man Plus (1982) and Pac & Pal (1983).
The experiment continued for 10 years (Eliot got his first video games when he was four-years-old) and concluded when he reached games released around the time of his birth. Baio published his findings and results of the experiment in an essay on Medium titled “Playing With My Son: An experiment in forced nostalgia and questionable parenting“.
Basically, he concluded that Eliot has a better appreciation for modern games. He’s also become “frighteningly good” at them:
“Eliot’s early exposure to games with limited graphics inoculated him from the flashy, hyper-realistic graphics found in today’s AAA games”, Baio writes. “He can appreciate retro graphics on its own terms, and focus on the gameplay.”
“My hope is that this experiment instilled a life-long appreciation for smaller, weirder, more intimate games in him.”