It's kind of like he's asking for early admission to our special club. We can parse his message if we so choose, but the overwhelming feeling I have for any 14 year old that launches his first game is simply to say congrats.
With that said, Jonah is my cousin and my cup runneth over.
Sometimes I'm baffled by how hard it is for seemingly intelligent people to grasp very simple human behavior. Spend an afternoon with a kid once. I promise you they'll let you know when they think they've done something cool.
I post my projects to HN too, I have only once reached the front page. I never mention my young age, and I won't do it here, because it doesn't matter and it's not relevant.
No matter how smart, humans stay humans. It's cute.
You're just being a little bit pessimistic, I think! ;-)
The whole thing was crap. The book was slow, boring, and made little sense. The IDE was completely unfamiliar and strange; I couldn't grasp how things connected together. I showed my uncle the book and proudly told him I was going to learn to program, and what he thought of it (he's a lifelong programmer); he said it was probably better as a reference and left it at that.
I lost interest soon, as I couldn't figure out much of anything useful from the book. I came back to it a few months later, and a few months after that to try again, each time making less progress and losing interest faster.
Some years later, in my last year of high school, I took an intro programming course at the local community college and rediscovered my love of it. I did well, often helping other students, only to have my interest utterly burned out of me when I took the "culling" compsci course at my university a few years later. I busted my ass and failed miserably, and ended up thinking that I just wasn't cut out to be a programmer.
What I lacked in my younger years, and it sounds like you did too, was resourcefulness. We weren't like this: http://www.paulgraham.com/relres.html The proper response to getting stuck with a dead-end IDE or book would've been to try like hell to find a different approach that works.
But..agree with your observation. Humans stay humans..!
Because they know that they'll be praised for it and probably manage to sell a couple of copies. It also makes sense as something to put on a higher-ed application or CV ("I can already write commercially successful pieces of software, I got X comment from Y developer and sold N units").
That said, you're probably right in suspecting that this is partially driven by someone other than OP. The landing page of MakeGamesWith.Us has Cheese Miners on the front page along with the text: "It's so easy we got high school students to do it".
However, regardless of OP's motivation, it is well worthwhile applauding them on a job well done at such a young age. There are nowhere near enough teenagers taking up programming, and I hope that success stories like this will encourage more young people to at least get their feet wet with this financially and mentally rewarding craft.
: This is especially troubling given the ubiquity of free development environments and online instructional material.
Your age doesn't matter. Your product does.
PS: don't be like that to your own kids, cuz you will be hated as a father, I can guarantee you that.
Product? It's a kid just learning to program and it's his/her first app (and is free). It's not a product!!! Just a typical "Show HN".
The initial rush of being X years old and a programmer soon wears off. For those young people who are serious about programming, age becomes more of an impediment, rather than a badge of honor.
If you broadcast that you are X years old, sometimes people will not take your work seriously. Sometimes they won't hire you. Sometimes people will take advantage of you. This is why, at some point, it's important to abstract away age from your work.
This kid publishes a freakin' iPhone game— a good one, at that!— and people are shitting on him for it? C'mon.
No, it doesn't. Most people deviate from the norm on something. Age, gender, disabilities. So what?
As a teenage programmer, I can say that teenage programmers aren't that uncommon any more. It's not remarkable, age really doesn't matter. Anyone over the age of 10 can learn programming by taking programming courses from world-renown universities nowdays. I'm 16 and I've been programming for years. That's only because I had a chance to learn programming and I took it, not because I'm more intelligent than a someone who's 20 years older than me and only got a computer when he was 18. Other people at my age didn't have such chances, and I'm thankful.
> Other people at my age didn't have such chances
That's my point. Being a 14 year old who knows Objective-C and has published a video game is still rare. I don't see how you can argue otherwise.
Even if you're right, even if it's something rare, we're missing the point. It's not about how rare it is, or how wonderful he is. It's about the product/game. Or at least it should be, in my opinion.