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Reader Comments (10)

Posted: Jan 1st 2010 10:29AM (Unverified) said

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"The things that float their little boats are likely to seem completely pedestrian to you. Kids devour character creation. They enjoy exploring starting zones and picking "their" own houses, inns and shops. They like to dress up (you did take Tailoring, didn't you?). They think killing 10 rats is grand fun -- and just as fun the next time, and the next, and the next ..."

Bit strange to suggest these things don't appeal to adults and, I have to say, as a father and uncle to kids who play, they hate killing 10 of anything as "it's boring".

Posted: Jan 1st 2010 10:56AM Cinnamoon said

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Funny how that works, eh? I just spent a day decorating my game house, happy as a clam. And when I showed my WoW toons to my (somewhat violent and rambunctious) 10-year-old nephew over the holiday (he has level 20ish characters) he didn't want to see high-end combat -- he wanted to tour Dalaran and then made me log in all of my characters to show him my riding and flying mounts.

Great article all the same, thank you.
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Posted: Jan 1st 2010 10:56AM Joshua Przygocki said

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Massively, will you adopt my future children?

Posted: Jan 1st 2010 11:35AM SgtBaker said

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Swimming. Lakes. Or just about any puddle of water.
Would someone please make a Swimming in Lakes MMO?

Posted: Apr 9th 2010 2:31PM ewingmaestro said

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It sounds really sad but when I have kids il definately have them playing MMO's with me, my brother will always be online with me anyway no matter the distance so it would be great to play in that kind of environment as a family. Also I think theyre useful to create the foundations for family decisions, give the kids an active role, and if they get the chance to save me from a perilous situation with a last minute heal or aggro steal, imagine that feeling if you were a kid, saving your Dad like that :D You'd be off the wall for months.

I think familys are very important, and I love MMO's purely on their social element, the two combine very nicely.

Posted: Jan 1st 2010 11:48AM (Unverified) said

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"If your older child runs into (or initiates ... /gulp) something inappropriate in chat, he or she might be uncomfortable or even unwilling to come to you about it. Run your eye over the chat log after play sessions, so you don't have to be an over-the-shoulder eagle eye"

Don't you think that's a little Orwellian? In fact, a lot of your suggestions seem to repeat the idea of hiding the child from interacting with the game world. Granted, you never mentioned exactly what ages this advice is geared for, but some of these practices border on being WAY overprotective. Protecting your kid from any and all game interaction with other players?

I was under the impression that Massive Multiplayer games were all about, well, exactly that: Multiplayer. I understand that kids play a different game, but you don't give them an MMO and take out the MM part of it. I take it that you personally weren't exposed to video games when you were a kid. It's like when you were young and watched a movie, you really believed that the world you're watching is real. And I think the most important part of the game is the interaction and exploration that you do (perhaps in a slightly supervised environment).

You don't need to go crazy sheltering your kid, and forcing him to behave in game. You can gently suggest that it's not a socially acceptable way to behave within the game, something that can easily be confirmed by their chat sessions with other in game characters (which you read anyways). Supervision and playing together = Good. Nazi supervision and strict in-game rules = bad. What are you going to punish your kid for acting like an idiot in the town square of some computer game?

Don't get me wrong though, anything that wasn't all about limited chat/player to player happenings, I think you were spot on. Being involved as a parent is a very good thing at such a young age with such an open environment.

Posted: Jan 1st 2010 12:54PM Dblade said

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The problem with these articles I keep seeing is that to make the game kid-safe, you have to remove a lot of the functionality and interaction of an MMO, and treat it kind of like an extended multiplayer game. To that end, you might as well just play a multiplayer game where you can control the experience completely.

No matter what precautions you'll take, interacting with other people will cause child-unfriendly incidents, and the amount of watching over the shoulder you will have to do is going to be prohibitive. I think it's honestly best to keep children out of the mainstream MMOs till they can both deal with the problems on their own, and actually play the game, as opposed to treating it like an offline one.

Posted: Jan 3rd 2010 6:57PM (Unverified) said

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I thought the author made it clear that certain precautions would be determined by the parent, based on the age and maturity of the child. The restrictions I put on my 13 year old are different from what I put on my 10 year old. And now that people have freely started opening cursing in world wide chat, I am going to re-evaluate how we handle that feature.

I'm playing an MMO with my 10 year old right now and it's given us a wonderful activity to share. I'm disabled, so he's been very excited about going on outings with me when we play. And I was amazed at the time he put into decorating his house. (My house has nothing but the storage chest it came it.) And beyond his lovingly decorated home, he has the patience to craft that I don't, which is quite helpful to our group. My husband is making a character just to join us.

Posted: Jan 4th 2010 11:51AM wjowski said

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The only way any kid of mine'd be playing an MMO is if they're old enough to get a job to pay for it themselves.

Posted: Jan 5th 2010 1:01PM (Unverified) said

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My 5 year old niece loves running around in WoW with my Tauren Druid. Mostly she likes changing shapes from Cat to bear to cow to fish. It keeps her very entertained. There is no housing in WoW of course but my WebKinz house is pretty cool.

City of Heroes is amazing for letting kids play with the costume creator. It is a shame they no longer have the offline version of it.

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