tao  •  22 Jul 2021

“There’s magic in what you did before 10 years of age.” Scott Adams.

I have heard this saying before and I think it is very true. Before the age of 10, when you are still evolving (no, not like a Pokémon) the things you become interested in permeate the rest of your life. Either that, or leaving and forgetting the things you used to enjoy can leave a big gap in your life. And sometimes, you don’t know why.

I am 50 now, so I was 10 in 1981.

Obviously, no Internet or computer games were around back then. Life seemed like it was more simple and I spent a lot of my time “playing out” with my friends on my bike. When I wasn’t outside, I would be immersed in a comic or book, reading science fiction stories like 2000AD (Judge Dredd). I also loved drawing too - probably something to do with Star Wars no doubt.

And of course, there was LEGO which was one of my main toys. Around that time, LEGO was quite basic. You either got houses, grass and cars or “Space Lego”. So my play revolved around building spaceships or moon bases with light grey and blue bricks.

I can remember a teacher in school who used to say “Maths or English!” every morning, allowing us to choose which worksheets we took from him to complete. It didn’t take long to realize that I was also allowed to write stories too. My friend and I sat and wrote space stories together, which in hindsight were probably awful, but I enjoyed it at the time.

I also started playing Dungeons and Dragons by the age of 10. The school computer (there was just 1!) had a game called Dungeon, a text-based fantasy game where you explored a world with elves and monsters. My friend said that his dad had a copy of D&D at home and I went round that afternoon and we made our first character. From then on, until I was 16 I played almost every weekend with my friends.

I still love fantasy and sci-fi things and enjoyed rediscovering LEGO when my kids were young. They gravitated towards Star Wars, Harry Potter and science fiction games like HALO. I probably encouraged them unconsciously. Or perhaps that is just what boys are in to?

My parents always used to say that I was happiest when I was in another world.

I feel lucky that I grew up in a non-Internet age. Computers were still quite new when I was 10 and not commonplace at home, so I got to live a good childhood of outdoor play, creativity and engrossing toys and games.


Agree about growing up in a non-Internet age and having a childhood outside and not screen-based. In a way I’m proud of it because we got the best of both worlds, don’t you think?

jasonleow  •  23 Jul 2021, 3:01 am