Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Want my Kids to be Gamers - Dungeons and Dragons over Baseball

I want my kids to be gamers. I want them to be full-on nerds and play Dungeons and Dragons and other games as well. I want this the same as parents for years have wanted to play catch with their kids or see them become ballerinas. Ok, maybe not that bad.

In any case, it will be an activity I'm sure I will share with them once they get old enough to actually be able to try it. Maybe they'll like it and maybe they won't. I'll do my best to help them have fun, since that is the whole point of it. Gaming has brought me joy for many years and I just want to share it with them. Where they go from there is up to them.

Right now, I have two games I am involved in. One I run, one I play in. The one I run I run at home, and part of the reason I have this game (though obviously only a small reason) is that I want to play at home so my kids can see me play and be interested in it. My daughter already plays with the miniatures quite a lot. She also likes to take the dice. She has taken both and lined them up on the floor in long lines. Sometimes she takes so many dice that I can't actually play anymore (she takes all of them) so I have to sneak and take some of them back so I can keep playing. Once she is old enough for it to really register, maybe by the time she is seven or eight, I'll take her to the local gaming store and let her pick out her own set of dice. Even if she never really games like I do in life, I will still want it to be a fun thing we can do together. Yes, I'm a nerd. And I'm a parent. I'll do the same thing with my son when he gets there as well. Hopefully he won't be jealous of his big sister's dice.

Dungeons and Dragons isn't the only game I'll be showing them, either. There are other RPGs, but there are also board games. I've always had fun with the more strategic board games. Advanced Squad Leader (ASL) is the ultimate one. I'd be happy if even one of my children shows some interest in that. That's not just a game. That's a lifetime commitment. (Btw, just to show how much I hate sports, for the longest time, if you said the name Kurt Schilling to me, I'd think you were talking about the head of MMP, the publisher of ASL, and would know nothing else about him.) ASL deserves a post all its own. Later.

I suppose every parent wants to pass things down to his or her offspring. For me, I hope to pass down, amongst other things (like skepticism, a love of science and reality), a love of games played with friends and family. Real games. Not the fake ones called "sports."

From common consensus with others I have asked about this in the gaming community (mostly online), the age that kids can really start playing something like Dungeons and Dragons is around age nine. But obviously, individuals vary. I guess time will tell.

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