FREWSBURG - Daniel Gage of Frewsburg has helped his son to play out a video game scenario in real life.
During a recent interview with The Post-Journal, Gage offhandedly complained about his son spending too much time playing video games 10 times in just as many minutes.
It's a reasonable complaint to have, and many parents do. However, instead of forcefully limiting his son's time playing video games, Gage decided to bring his son's video game to life in his backyard.
Above, Daniel Gage enters the first bank on his way down the video game inspired sledding course built in his backyard.
P-J?photo by Remington?Whitcomb
Inspired by the game SSX Tricky, Gage built is son, also named Daniel Gage, a sledding course in the backyard complete with a starting ramp, banked turns, and red and blue colored snow.
"I knew if I was going to get the boys away from the video games, I'd have to create something fast-paced and action-packed," said Gage. "If I did that, I knew I could beat the video games, and so far for the past five days they've spent more time outside than inside."
Gage's family only moved into their Frewsburg home last year.
Because of how little snow the area received, the family didn't realize how perfect of a sledding hill they possessed in their own backyard. However, with the recent influx of snow, Gage began experimenting with the sledding course, and the result has turned into the envy of all of his son's friends.
As happy as Gage is that his son is enjoying sledding outdoors, he says that building the course has done him wonders as well.
"About a year ago I had a stroke and lost most of my eyesight as a result," said Gage. "Building this course has given me lots of exercise and I'm feeling pretty good, as well."
In building the course, most of the construction was simply shoveling snow into the right places. However, the red and blue colored snow along the track took a bit of homemade Hollywood magic.
"We took waterbottles and filled them up with water and food coloring," said Gage. "We come out everyday and we spray down the track so it keeps its color. ... The kids really like it, because the colored track makes it look more like a video game."
"The (track) is really, really awesome," said the 13-year-old Gage, who attends Frewsburg Middle School. "I got to test it out while my dad was making it and the whole thing has been a lot of fun."
Both father and son said that as the winter progresses, they intend to keep the track well-maintained and possibly even build onto it as more snow becomes available.
"People have suggested that we find a way to get lights out here so the kids can play on it when it gets dark," said Gage. "We have friends who have said they have some portable lights available and wouldn't mind letting us use them. The course is becoming so popular amongst (my son's) friends that we might have no choice but to light up the track. ... It will be fun to see exactly how big we can make this. If it keeps the kids entertained through the whole winter, it will be well worth the work."