Push or hold the button

2015.01.19What do you want to do today?

My son is nearly four years old. I decided it was time.

He watches television. I'm not a huge fan of this, but television is common enough culture that I'm not going to snub him for it. It gives him stuff to talk about with other kids and it fuels his imagination when he plays. I find myself with better ideas for creating when the "well is full". Watching, reading and playing is important. As long as one creates as well.

I play games and I'd like to connect with him there. So when we were at a store and Mario Kart 64 caught his eyes, I picked up a copy of Super Mario Kart. His hands fit the Super Famicom controllers better at the moment. We brought it home, hooked the SuFami to the Big Family Television and gave it a spin.

First Super Mario Kart. Then, via Super Mario Bros. Collection, we played Super Mario Bros.

In one the B button must be held continuously while the left and right are alternated. In the other left (mostly) or right must be held for long stretches of time and B is only occasionally pressed. But at varying lengths.

He's working on when to hold down buttons and when not to. High level Mario Kart punishes one for just holding down accelerate, but more often than not that B button will be pushed down. We're not at the high level stage. Just trying to get him around the course. He "gives up" fairly quickly, but instead of quitting the game he just wants to try out another character. Then he'll want to sit in my lap and I help push his thumbs at the right times. "He" got first place in 50cc Mushroom Cup.

I worry. I don't want it to be "too early" or "too much" or "too" anything. But I'd like to try Because the first time he squashed that famous first Goomba in Super Mario Bros., the smile he had at realizing he didn't fail this time was pure gold.