We are in full on game design mode. This little book that I spent about $20 on is the best investment I've made since we started homeschooling. I've lifted time restrictions on the computer so he has time to really dive in. The agreement is that this is okay as long as he stays his sunny self and the storm clouds don't come out, so far so good. I am somewhat amazed at the depth of the book and truly amazed at how quickly he has picked up the skills. He's been designing flash games online for a while but this is a whole new skill set; one that will be valuable even if he grows up and doesn't turn out to be a video game designer (as most 10 year old boys dream... but hey, someone is making all those games they keep trying to sell me).
I read once that the dreams we have as children speak to our soul and who we are really meant to be. As I watched him today, alternating between quiet focus and excited joy as he figured out something new I remembered another time I saw this. When he was very small, about 4 or 5 years old he started making up his own games using the pieces of our board games. They had rules, a goal, clear winners and were usually more fun than the original games. We would use Monopoly money, the Sorry pawns and the board from Candyland and have a whole new adventure. I was amazed then and I'm amazed now, not only by his imagination and determination but also that he is so constant in his pursuits despite the winding path we took to get here. He still loves doing it his way instead of just playing the game everyone else is playing. I realize as I'm typing this that this is the reason I was led to unschooling; so he (all of really but this story is about him) can make his own rules and have a better life than the one that usually comes in the box.