Noah spends a lot of time at the computer. Too much for my comfort. He sees it as an issue, too, since he tends to miss out on doing other things that would make his life feel fuller and more interesting. I do my best to support his quest for more balance in his life without exuding snide, judgemental comments, though I confess I don't always succeed. ("Hasn't it been, like, days since you used your legs as anything other than a cushion under your butt?")
But the upshot of my discomfort with his computer use is that I tend not to put a lot of attention and enthusiasm towards what he's doing there. And so sometimes I suddenly get rather blindsided by what he's got on the go. The other evening, for example, he was slow getting to the dinner table.
"I was doing something for David and I had to wait and save it before I came," he apologized.
"Oh," he said casually, "yeah, David, the programmer of Lugaru."
I know about Lugaru, because he's been playing it for weeks. It's quite a game. Combat rabbits, impressive graphics, intuitive controls. Neat stuff. Trust Noah to go into the support and development forums and get to know the developer.
"He's working on Lugaru2 and he wants to put out a little trailer showing some of the new effects, but he's going to college, so he's pretty busy. Besides, he doesn't have the right software to put together a video. So I said I'd do it. He needs it by the end of the week."
He has an uncanny knack for getting himself taken seriously on game development and game support forums. Perhaps it's partly that geeks don't seem to have any age-based prejudices when dealing with other geeks. Maybe most of them were once precocious 10-year-old geeks like Noah.
Now, Noah doesn't have any experience with video-editing, but he had expressed an interest in it, such that we'd put it on his learning plan last month. And I'd since managed to track down an inexpensive bundled version of Adobe Premiere Elements. But I hadn't even got it fully installed and registered before Noah was at it with his Lugaru project. He'd taken the audio files into Audacity and worked out the trims and fades, then exported the files and transferred everything over to the other computer and dived into Premiere. He'd figured out titling, transitions, cross-fading the audio files, slide shows, timing controls and how to meld the soundtrack and video.
No wonder the geeks take him seriously.