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Posted: Apr 4th 2009 8:20AM (Unverified) said

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OMG TOO CUTE CANNOT READ KEEP SQUEEING OVER CUTE KID

Posted: Apr 4th 2009 8:23AM Krystalle Voecks said

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That little bundle of adorable is the daughter of Robin Torres, blogger for our sister site WoW Insider. :)
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Posted: Apr 4th 2009 8:55AM Tipa said

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Young children have better ways of spending their lives than grinding meaningless levels in some MMO.

I'm a gamer and so are my kids, but we gamed together with a console, where we at all times were in control. We could start playing when we wanted, pause, stop, go do something else...

Plus, do you really want your young child participating in general chat?

MMOs are not for children. If parents allow them to play, they should be right there with them all the time.

Posted: Apr 4th 2009 9:05AM (Unverified) said

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I feel Robin's recommendations are good guidelines in general for parents and children.

There are quite a few benefits of playing in an MMO. Social interaction, learning to play with a team, learning that items cost an amount and one must work for it. These are some things one can use in the real world. Of course as with all things, moderation is key and that is also a good lesson.

Posted: Apr 4th 2009 10:06AM (Unverified) said

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Well I don;t know about 'MMO's arent for kids'

If you stay along side your kids why they play and have proper monitoring software on you computer to track your childrens habits then that is fine. TBH we should ALL be doing this for ANY computer use anyway.

Games are jsut getting smarter with this and building all those tools right in.

Why is not ok for a kid to learn about levelling up and experience? It doesnt have to be a grind, I never play MMO's for th egrind i play to explore and socialise. Both are very good habits for kids to learn.

I'll happily let my kids play MMO's with supervision and limitation, just like i limit console playing.

Posted: Apr 4th 2009 9:28AM Dlangar said

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Each tuesday night, my entire family gets together and plays City of Heroes. It is absolutely a great bonding time -- except when it's time to level and dad has to go around giving everyone advice on what powers to choose. :) MMO's are games designed around team cooperationg and playing together. Far more than any console game, why would you not want to play an MMO with your children.

But like anything you do, you still have to parent. My children are not allowed to play unattended, and they're not allowed to group unless it's with me or each other. I'm fully aware of the perils of playing with "real people", but it's just the same as taking your kid to an amusement park. You wouldn't let them wander off alone at Disney World, you certainly shouldn't do so in Azeroth either.

I heartily encourage it. As for when is "too young", it depends on the kid, and the parent. My kids were standing in my lap poking the screen while I moved the mouse around at the age of 2. My daughter was running around Atlas Park (with my help) at 4.

Posted: Apr 4th 2009 10:22AM (Unverified) said

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Yeah I remember a Halloween event in CoH; maybe the 2nd one. I found a trick or treat group that had a grandmother playing with her grandson. Grandma gave over control of the character to the 4 yr old grandson while she did laundry. Of course he could not chat, and did wonder away from our group. We would see his health dropping and then we would run over to save him. LOL

Posted: Apr 4th 2009 10:41AM (Unverified) said

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As with all things - age appropriate, ensuring time for school/outdoor play/time away from computer/etc, I'd have to say it depends on what your definition of MMO is.

I probably wouldn't have a problem if my daughter played "Animal Crossing" on the Wii - she's 10, and there's plenty of structure that makes sure that she can only play with people she already knows somehow (aka - sharing Wii codes and the like).

When she was 7, she liked to "play" Warcraft with me (back when I had time to play it and an account), but that was highly supervised - basically, her sitting in my lap beating up creatures and designing her avatar (which for her was 90% of the fun - making up her virtual personas and finding different outfits).

I probably wouldn't mind playing MMO's as a family - if there was a family account you could use so instead of paying for 4 or 5 individual accounts, you could pay a group monthly fee (unless you went the Guild Wars route). But if I were to play, say, Warcraft with my kids, have a "family" account to save $$$ so the kids could only log on when I provide my password (so I wouldn't worry about them getting involved while I was at work or something), then I could encourage it. At that point, it's no different than playing any other family game together, or going to an amusement park: you keep your eyes on the kids, encourage them to have fun and not talk to strangers.

Posted: Apr 4th 2009 11:25AM (Unverified) said

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i love the way Fusionfall does the paid version with a family account and a master account that can control everything on the sub accounts
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Posted: Apr 4th 2009 1:12PM (Unverified) said

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Would never let my child touch an MMO alone. Way too many scary people play them, and way too many little 4chan idiots. Now little online games are ok. My little sister gets a months game time for this little penguin online game for kids if she brings home straight A's, a couple B's here and there are ok. If she doesn't, no month of game time paid.

Posted: Apr 4th 2009 1:25PM (Unverified) said

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I hope someone's making sure that she puts in her daily grinding hours! If you're old enough to reach the keyboard, you're old enough to play!!!

Posted: Apr 4th 2009 1:53PM (Unverified) said

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My 11 year old daughter is currently on 6 months of internet restriction because we caught her participating in a chat in an MMO with someone we didn't know... she had generally been pretty trustworthy until then, so the supervision had been strong but not constant - generally we had felt comfortable just glancing at her screen several times an hour. On the other hand, we did catch her the first time she broke the rules, so I guess the supervision level was about right for a child her age. Soon she'll start to be old enough for a little less supervision, but once she's allowed back on the net we're probably going to restrict her to games with limited chat for children.

Posted: Apr 4th 2009 1:50PM SkuzBukit said

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The choice of allowing children to play MMO's is much like any other aspect to life, you just need to be aware that although it's a game, those bright coloured characters are real people just like you & getting that point across to kids is the starting point, if they can't recognise that then they are too young to play in my opinion.

Provided there is good supervision & parenting involved (& you remember little bodies need to move around a lot rather than be stuck at a desk for hours) then sessions of play of a few hours are okay, extended play of hour upon hour is going to damage your child's health, especially if they aren't given a good seat, posture etc is important, you don't want your kids ending up with RSI (look up some IT working practices & health & safety about computer work, you'll likely be surprised).

So once you've gotten over supervision & how much is enough, health, homework, getting regular physical play time, & other activities (painting, reading, etc variety is important), comes the choice of game & that game's content.

Mostly it's all about good parenting & common sense, but having profanity filters on, filtering out channels to exclude channels prone to unsuitable chatter are just the tip of the iceberg, & mostly you'll need to supervise for a long while & react to situations & pitfalls as your child encounters them, helping the child build up an understanding of the do's & do nots as well as how to handle other players actions.

I don't think you can set a "minimum age" other than what context the game has & deciding what level of exposure you want your child to have, there is a lot of potential to teach your child things in a virtual environment safely you can't teach them out in the real world so if anything MMO's & online gaming can expand the scope of your role as a parent in quite interesting ways, & having the ability to play with each other in an online world can build a pretty robust & powerful bond, just as you can achieve that offline, the trick of it is treating gaming as a added part of your family life & not as a replacement for all the other quality things a family should be doing, & life/gaming balance is the key.

Posted: Apr 4th 2009 6:45PM cray said

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Any kid younger than 12 year old shouldn't be playing an MMO, They would be better suited to play house or cops and robbers by using their own imagination.

Having them play a MMO at young age, regardless of how safe the online environment would just dull their senses in the long term. They would grow bored quicker as they get older, which could stunt their psychological growth in self-motivation, and interpersonal communication.

Looks harmless, but virtual roleplay is NOT the same as roleplaying in the real world. There is a greater need for problem-solving for the latter.

Posted: Apr 5th 2009 6:26PM (Unverified) said

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I think that MMOs are ok for kids who are allowed to go out alone. Like, I'm only 11 but I'm allowed to ride the subway (in the city) and go around museums alone. Personally I think WoW is much safer than the subway. But, I guess that's just my opinion.
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Posted: Apr 4th 2009 7:01PM Saylah said

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I started my son at 9 and we've never looked back. We included my nephew when he was 8 in World of Warcraft. My other nephew who is 3 years old likes to ride my character around in Runes of Magic.

Posted: Apr 4th 2009 8:23PM (Unverified) said

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It really depends on when the kid's okay with whatever is in the game. It shouldn't be someone else's decision.

Posted: Apr 5th 2009 3:50AM Graill440 said

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Showing a child how to raid is in no way being a responsible parent. You WANT to show your kid the lowest form of MMO play style? And if your taking the time to raid or be a guild guide in some big raiding guild and you have kids, you truly suck as a parent. Get as angry at that comment as you like, it's fact, 1 in 1 million might be the exception.

How about this, you raise your kids responsibly, and after they leave your home with norms and are productive to society they can learn MMO's on their own if they feel the need.

....dont be irresponsible parents by showing them how to play an MMO to keep them off your back by keeping them busy (which is the main reason for video games given by parents) try parenting, try legitimate teaching and guess what, we wouldnt have so many deliquents running around.

You made the kid you damn well better raise that kid well, and playing or teaching them to play that garbage when they need to be doing other things to better themselves is not it. Invest the time in your kids, not your own screwed up sense of keeping yourselves entertained.

Posted: Apr 5th 2009 3:55AM Krystalle Voecks said

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Here's where I point out that I am the parent in the above example, teaching my son to raid.

Of course, I should also point out that my son is almost 20, pays for his own account, and we use it to spend time together when he's not off doing his own thing.

Might want to watch where you fling that wide paintbrush in the future. :)
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Posted: Apr 5th 2009 8:49AM Brendan Drain said

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I won't get in on the age debate but my little brother (age 18 I think) plays EVE with me and it's awesome. I find MMOs are a great way to bond and they let you maintain your relationships with family and friends when you're separated.
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