Parents Let Kid Drop Out to Focus on Video Gaming

Like many 16-year old teenagers, Blake Peebles dreams of being a professional video game player. That's not unusual. What's different here is that Blake's parents actually let him quit school (he's still homeschooled) to focus on a career as a pro gamer.

Matt Ehlers of The News & Observer has the story:

Inside his upstairs bedroom, Blake's environment is set up specifically to make him a better gamer. There is a PlayStation 2, a Nintendo Wii and an Xbox 360. He also has a stack of plastic guitars, but no real ones. Blake doesn't play an actual guitar, a skill that doesn't really transfer to playing the virtual kind, anyway.

The frame for his bed is on the back porch, with the box springs and mattress on the bedroom floor. That puts his bed at a more comfortable level for sitting to play "Guitar Hero III" for extended periods. At the moment, he plays just a few hours a day, but that number will increase as the California competition nears.

Blake seems happy with his home school arrangement, as you would expect from a teenager who is allowed to stay up into the wee hours to play video games. Sometimes, when Mike heads to the gym before 5 a.m., his son is still playing video games. Blake calls it working "the late shift."

He didn't enjoy school, he says, and especially didn't like the rules associated with attending the Christian academy. Shaggy hair is more his style.

He's good at video games. "I wasn't really good at anything else that I liked."

http://www.newsobserver.com/print/sunday/sunday_journal/story/1155589.html - via Wired's Geekdad, Thanks Marilyn!

(Photo: Corey Lowenstein)


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I hope this kid knows about exercise and his parents are competent enough to give him a decent education that won't leave him without options.
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@cuimhe: You don't seem to understand the role of a game designer. It has nothing whatsoever to go with art or graphic design. It has to do with game ideas. Something that an avid gamer might as well be good at.

And crossing the testing->making bridge is not as hard as you seem to think.

I must say that I don't condone his decision of becoming a pro-gamer. But it's not the end of the world for him, is what I'm saying.
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I'm all for identifying natural skills..in public AND private schools we don't this this nearly enough. Too many kids graduate or drop out of high school not knowing they're worth something somewhere. This however, I mean..he stays IN BED playing video games. I have a feeling tons and tons of teenagers have the dream of being a video game tester..but how many actually get hired? Fortunately, being in the newspaper might give him a leg up on every other teenager who likes video games out there. ALSO, I'm willing to be his parents have no idea how good he is..my mother is blown away whenever I pull up the weather stats on the internet.
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He plays guitar hero a few hours a day...

That is about the most stupid and useless nonsense thing you can do with your life. Get a real guitar and practice a few hours a day - that would be something. But guitar hero? I would really love to smack some sense into his parents...
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Shit, minus the news coverage and the switching to home school this kid sound like most of the lazy dipshits I just graduated the hell away from. Don't get me wrong, I love, love, LOVE vidja games. I just don't think they should matter THAT much. Unless you design them, I guess.
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