When Andy Baio’s son was born in 2004, he decided to conduct an experiment. As a video game fanatic that was born in the golden age of arcade gaming and played through each subsequent generation as he grew up, Baio wondered what would happen if his kid was forced to do the same.
Starting on his fourth birthday, Biao gave his son Eliot a Pac-Man plug-and-play TV game loaded with several arcade classics including Galaxian, Rally-X, Bosconian, Dig Dug, Pac-Man, Super Pac-Man, Pac-Man Plus and Pac & Pal.
Things progressed nicely as Eliot was beating his father’s high scores in Dig Dug within just six weeks. After another plug-and-play TV series, they moved to the 8-bit era that was the Nintendo Entertainment System.
By age six, Eliot was able to complete games like The Legend of Zelda all by himself and after knocking out Super Mario Bros. 1-3, Mega Man 1-6, Castlevania 1-3, Rygar, Contra and Duck Tales, Eliot graduated to the SNES.
Super Mario World and Link to the Past made the list here as well as a game called E.V.O: Search for Eden that Baio described as an underrated 16-bit uncle of Spore. Moving to the Nintendo 64, Eliot collected every star in Super Mario 64 by the time he was seven and after knocking out the PlayStation 2, the experiment was complete.
In the end, Baio found that the experiment certainly had an impact on the types of games Eliot likes now. In addition to Minecraft (which virtually every kid gamer enjoys), Eliot has a knack for difficult games that challenge those 2-3 times his age – and he’s really good at them, too.
For example, he beat Spelunky just one month after his eighth birthday. After that, he beat it the “hard” way by going through Hell. The game’s creator, Derek Yu, said Eliot was the youngest person he’s heard of to pull off the feat.