“My brother, Blake’s uncle, is very close to Blake, but he’s always thought we are crazy,” Blake’s mother, Hunter Peebles, says now. “He didn’t think we were raising Blake the right way; he thought we were too nice.”

The thing is, Blake’s story at first seems like it’s about the meteoric rise of computer gaming, a field that is morphing from disrespected-slacker land to a full-on, cash-yielding sport, just as skateboarding and surfing and snowboarding did before it. A mere 10 years ago, the idea of making a career in gaming was laughable. Now colleges offer game-development majors. Gaming companies are going strong, even as the economy contracts. The term professional gamer isn’t an oxymoron but represents a real phenom who could earn as much as an entry-level law-firm associate.

But the tale of Blake Peebles isn’t about that. It’s about parenting.

September 5, 2008
World Cyber Games National Finals

September 5 to 6, 2008
Performance, Raleigh Wide Open, Raleigh Convention Center

September 19 to 20, 2008
Performance, Rock Hall Benefit
Koka Booth Amphitheatre, Cary, North Carolina

December 31, 2008
Performance, First Night Raleigh
6 to 10 p.m., North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences