I couldn't agree more. I'm 20 years old and dropped out of university after my first year. There was a large amount of people I was surrounded by who weren't motivated at all and didn't really seem to take interest in anything we were doing.
I moved to San Francisco ( from New Zealand ) after I dropped out in the beginning of 2013, attended a programming bootcamp and was surrounded by smart people who all shared the same drive and passion as me. It made a world of difference, my core group of friends were all people who breathed code. We all motivated each other to better ourselves and to learn new technologies. Moving to the valley was the best thing I've ever done, I learned so much in such a short amount of time and was even approached by some companies with some great offers. Unfortunately I had to move back to New Zealand as my year was up and US work visas require a degree or an extensive amount of experience. That was probably the biggest downside of dropping out, a degree can definitely open up many doors.
This line stuck out to me: "Coding because you played a computer game once and want to make the next Assassin’s Creed in a few days of work"
When I was 13, I decided that I wanted to stop playing games and try to make my own. I was naive and thought that I could build one like WoW single handedly and I soon realized that I couldn't. However I did then come across private servers for games like World of Warcraft. From that I started to learn how to run them, I started to learn about SQL to manage the DB, then moved onto to learning LUA in order to script for my server. Even going onto looking into C++. Even then moving onto learning about web development and web servers in order to run the site for my server. That's what sparked my curiosity in coding and development at a young age.
That's why I disagree with this statement. People will learn that they can't build a game just like that, but they make start to take smaller steps and learn themselves. Don't discourage people from trying. They actually have a good mindset where they want to try build things themselves.
I'm the same, I watch a lot of anime because it sparks some great thoughts. What if the world was like X, what if we could do this, why is this like that etc. It gets me questioning a lot of things. It definitely gets my imagination going a lot more then reality shows like you said. ( although I do enjoy mellowing out and watching them every now and then )
I'm one of the students of App Academy ( which Ned Ruggeri is co-founder of ).
The reason for that is because today one of the tasks was to create a version of HN in ou terminals. HN was blocking people due to repeated requests and thus Ned made a local version of HN for students to use.
I definitely agree with you, I'd love to see more tech companies entering the NZ market. Sadly we are lagging behind other countries when it comes to technology.
One of my own goals is to help introduce a better environment for technology in NZ. Hopefully encouraging more people to start their own startup and base their operations in NZ ( I'm planning on basing my startup here in NZ ).
As someone who lives in New Zealand, I think that its only a matter of time before the domain name is seized. This whole MegaUpload affair has shown that the US government has quite a lot of sway over the NZ government and in my opinion I don't think they will stop until he's extradited to the US and put behind bars.