Granny Kate is becoming a computer whizz - with help from Jack

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone
Share this article

When home computers first arrived on the scene in the 1980s I only gave them a cursory glance.

I felt bad for not embracing all the latest gadgets and gizmos that would periodically pop out of the fertile imagination of the collective clever clogs at Apple and Microsoft. Or “Microhard” as I call it.

I was a dinosaur, an echo of a bygone age because I couldn’t unlock my daughter’s iPad, something my little grandson Jack, who is not yet four, can do with ease.

Ironically it was Jack who sparked my interest in the world of technology.

It all started innocently enough, Emma dropped Jack off at my place for the day with all the usual essential paraphernalia I have come to associate with such “visits”, replacement pants, socks, trousers, tops, bags of his favourite sweeties and, hang on, no toys?

Instead of Jack’s usual colourful assortment of action figures and mini-military-munitions, Emma placed a box at the foot of my television set. She proceeded to plug this in and adjust the settings on my TV.

She left Jack sitting alone in front of this little box, which I noticed had a glowing circular attachment beside it.

“What’s that Jack?” I inquired.

“It’s a portal granny,” Jack said, obviously irritated at this disturbance.

He then started removing an assortment of strange little creatures from his backpack and lining them up beside this “portal” with all the precision and concentration of a little hitman preparing to take out his latest contract.

“What are those?” I asked quietly, fearful of bursting his bubble of concentration.

“Skylanders,” he said with an evil little grin. “We play them ‘til mummy get back.”

And play them we did.

Once I got the gist of it I enjoyed very second of it, sharing all of Jack’s fun for the adventure.

Just as families gathered together around pianos in the old days, now they gather around a games console and spend their “together time” thumping trolls.