Coolest. Homework. Ever.

As we reach the end of summer here in Japan, and students across the country are starting to trickle back to school, I’ve been thinking about my childhood summers. They were usually spent, to my mother’s chagrin, inside playing video games. “Have you finished your homework yet?” my mother would sigh, only to shake her head when I scrambled to get everything done on the very last day.

After all, I had already decided, at the tender age of 9, that I would be a Pokémon Gym Leader when I grew up, so obviously spending my summer playing Pokémon Red would be pivotal for my future — certainly more-so than maths and science, anyway. My mother, for some reason, didn’t agree.

Japanese Twitter user @twinkeepingat1, who goes by Yan, has a different viewpoint to my mother, and proudly posted a video of his 6th grader son playing some old school Super Mario. Only unlike me, hunched up in my room with my GameBoy, surrounded by strategy guides, desperately looking up tips and tricks, Yan’s son is playing on a console he made all by himself.

“I can’t believe my son actually made a game console! Check out his homemade Mario!”

Unbeknownst to Yan, his son spent his summer making a cardboard replica of Super Mario Bros.’ 1-1 stage, complete with a moving background and working controls. The Mario is attacked to a loop of fishing wire and can be moved using the two dials, and the ‘level’ is actually a long piece of rolled up paper that rotates as you move the wheel attacked to the console. Yan claims the project was done as part of his son’s summer homework, more specifically independent study homework.

Twitter users were quick to praise Yan’s son, with many comments calling him a genius. But Yan was keen to downplay his son’s talents in his reply, saying his son was inspired by watching YouTubers around the world post tutorials, specifically mentioning this one from Brazillian YouTube channel Invenctor.

But the plot thickens, as in a follow-up tweet, Yan explains that he actually has twin sons, who he calls ‘Twin A’ and ‘Twin B’. Upon seeing Twin A’s creation, Twin B was inspired to make a console of his own, too, this time featuring Mario Kart.

“Thanks for waiting! Here’s Twin B’s creation!”

Twitter was full of admiration for Yan’s boys and their creativity, and took to the platform to sing their praises.

“Amazing. Be sure to praise them a lot and cook their favourite meal as a reward.”
“The boys are great, but the dad is great too for encouraging them. I can tell they’re a nice family.”
“Can they teach me how to do it too??”
“Even if they just followed a tutorial, this is still incredible.”
“I wonder if you can do wall glitching in this game?”
“The frame rate is so smooth!”

As far as summer vacation homework goes, this would have definitely interested me more than boring old maths ever did. It just goes to show, the best kind of homework is one that encourages students to have fun while they learn.

Source: Twitter@twinkeepingat1 via NetLab
Image: Twitter@twinkeepingat1
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