John Benton, 18, has been playing video games since he was "what, Mom? Four of five?
He was sitting in the Oconee County School Board meeting room, waiting for Monday night's meeting to start. His mother, Penny Benton, was sitting next to him. He was being recognized for being a National Merit Semi-Finalist, an award based on scoring high on the Practice Scholastic Aptitude Test.
"I think you were five," she said. "He loved games. We'd take these long road trips and a game would keep him entertained."
From the Game Boy and Pokemon Gold, John went on to more sophisticated computer systems and games such a MineCraft, which he calls the next level of Legos. Now he's into Bioshock, which he describes as "a literary game."
When he graduates from Oconee County High School in the spring, John will likely attend Southern Polytechnic, where he wants to study game design.
Two students from North Oconee High School were also honored Monday night: seniors Annabel McFadden and Hailey Clark of North Oconee High School have also been named National Merit Semi-Finalists.