Being A Smartass Or Being A Curious Genius: I Love “Why?” From Kids


Children are learners, everyday is spent learning and discovering the world around and what it means both to them and to the construct to be known as society. Often it is hard to remember that they are actually trying to do such things as they go about it in the only way someone so inexperienced would: without forethought or a filter. These efforts are often use to characterise someone new to a world which is then often seen as annoying and aggravating. While that may be true as anyone who has had to hear the same thing three times over, I in fact love the question of why from children.

There is something very raw about the question from the perspective of a child, someone who really doesn’t know anything then questioning out of the sheer desire to learn more. It is easy to use cop out answers and try getting around these questions but the principle behind them is what I admire. That principle is something I wish to hold forth into my own life whenever I see it appropriate to do so: ask why. Not to be a pest but to actually get to the root of the very reason for something, the purpose of its existence. A child doesn’t ask why when you tell them to do something to annoy you, they ask because they want to understand the reasoning.

I don’t know if I have ever stated so before but my desire for a career is to become a designer for video games. The job entails a lot of the question why to all sorts of things. Especially with such a large ocean of pointless and maliciously intended ingredients to throw into the bowl, it is important to understand the train of thought and purpose behind decisions. One of the easiest pitfalls to trip over and land in is to deviate from the original core concept, additions that objectively are enjoyable but contextually fall apart in the current circumstances. We have all likely found something that serves no purpose other than to exist.An example?

Think of how many FPS games or action games like to throw in a platforming section using half assed platforming controls that pull away from all that fun the main concept is. Why does this exist? Well the short and sweet answer is someone needed you to go from point A to point B and didn’t think very hard. Then let us ask this: what is the fun supposed to be in an FPS? Well in this instance let us say it is the shooting. If you had to get around, a smart developer would find a way to incorporate the core gameplay, the gunplay, into traversing the landscape.

Oh look a ladder! Why do ladders exist? Usually to provide elevation but also as a chance to relax, sometimes even as a geographical advantage. However, my experience of ladders in an action game or FPS have generally been that they are slow unnecessary areas that exist out of ignorance of their purpose and the games. I can praise the Half Life series for making ladder climbing a fast and stress-less process….most of the time, however when the opportunity provides itself don’t put ladders in my sci-fi shooter, use your imagination and work around the issue. A ladder exists as space conservation, don’t use one unless you need to CONSERVE SPACE.

Things that we do through habit are also a wondrous place to explore why. It can be hard to identify that you have a habit or do something without very much thinking, harder still to actually distil why you do it. I can go into a small seemingly random giggle sometimes when I manage to find out even the why behind my bodies actions.

Why I twitch, why I shiver when I’m cold, why my immediate reaction is to do one thing over the other among other things. I was even enjoying a conversation yesterday about why we tell people to make a good first impression, how we openly admit that human minds are quick to judge and fall to prejudiced mindsets as a means of easily organizing information in our heads, the human mind likes working in sets and groups.

I was asked to look after a child once and when it came to stop playing games for a bit or not to put certain things in their mouth they often came out with a why. Sometimes those questions actually made me think as to the reason. I often had to sit down with the child and clearly explain the actual reasoning behind the words I spoke, helpful to both them and myself as to clarify the root of the decision at hand. I’ve seen people say that it is easier to just say “because I’m in charge” or “because I’m your parent” but then while I can consider that easier, is it more educative? Is defaulting the reason to a position going to convince anyone to do something? I know at least I don’t enjoy meeting questions with “cos I’m the teacher/boss” to this day.

Some may consider me someone who likes to stir up trouble. I like to think that I only stir up trouble where trouble was already in the soup, if you can actually explain to people why it shows an understanding that invokes trust. I trust the people I do because I can understand the method to their madness, I become assured to the actions of them as opposed to the identical actions in a stranger, simply because I don’t know why this particular individual does what they do.

I created and write on this blog. Why? Because I felt like both having something nice to show potential employers that I actually don’t just talk the talk as well as letting my mind become unburdened with the thoughts and perspectives that populate my mind. Why? Because I don’t have any experience in the industry I wish to join as of yet and to the other I say I enjoy the lifting feeling of not having so much bouncing around in my head making my day to day the worse. It’s rather fun finding the underlying reason to things, it quenches a thirst for knowledge and understanding that I think all humans have.

Why do I have this question time thing at the end of each post? To provide a quick insight into the walls of text above for people who skim as well as throwing out a kickstarter to get people to comment without, again, reading through walls of texts trying to grasp a conversational point. So I ask you all: what got you to click on this article? Why did you follow through on reading the full thing? Why do you follow me and my ramblings? If you don’t, why don’t you? Thanks for the read and I’ll see you all later!


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