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Reader Comments (55)

Posted: Jan 18th 2011 12:08PM kjhasdfjkhk said

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This is exactly why I wish more games would offer smaller, more bite-sized dungeons aimed towards a smaller group of people. This would work well in a game like Guild Wars 2 where you don't need any specific classes to complete it, but dungeons that offer more than tank and spank combat. Environmental challenges and puzzles instead of pure combat.

I hated raiding in huge groups, having to wait for everyone to group up or wait for X amount of this class and Y amount of that. Things are changing for the better, I just hope they keep a certain level of difficulty. Having more players required does not necessarily make it harder content.

This is also the reason I don't ever want a kid. Well, not the only reason, but I am responsible enough to know that I shouldn't have a kid if I don't plan on having enough time for it. If people are going to have kids they should put their kids before a stupid video game. I don't want a kid enough to sacrifice my time for it, gaming or otherwise.

Posted: Jan 18th 2011 12:08PM Coolit said

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My gaming starts after 8pm when all the little heads are in bed. Nice write up.

Posted: Jan 18th 2011 12:16PM Epiny said

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@Coolit

Same for me. I remember when I was 18 playing EQ and hearing about people complain that their kids were bothering them while they played. I made the decission a long time ago that I would never ignore my children for a video game.
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Posted: Jan 18th 2011 1:16PM SgtBaker1234556 said

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@Coolit

Yep, same here, gaming is *my* hobby, I do it on *my* free time so that excludes anything before 8pm.
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Posted: Jan 18th 2011 3:54PM Nerves said

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@Coolit
Ditto. If my kid is awake and with her mommie, I'll still stick to stuff I can walk away from easily.
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Posted: Jan 18th 2011 12:12PM (Unverified) said

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Same could be said of your Spouse if they don't game like you do

Posted: Jan 18th 2011 12:17PM Epiny said

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@(Unverified)
To an extent. Your spouse should understand though prior to being your spouse that this is important to you. You should make compromises ahead of time as to when it is okay and when it isn't okay to play.
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Posted: Jan 18th 2011 3:57PM Nerves said

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@Epiny
Too true. I've entered into an agreement that Sundays after 8, I'm unavailable. She knows this ahead of time, so I don't have to sleep on the couch after.
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Posted: Jan 18th 2011 12:18PM Vestas said

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I agree with the heart of your message. My girlfriend has two children, 13 and 11 now, and I am sure there are times people here me say similar things over the vent. However I caveat your message with the idea that it comes dangerously close to stereotyping. You really don't have the entire story when you hear a tidbit of something over vent. You have no idea if that family has the concept of "family time", or time spent with the kids. You don't know if they just got back from a 6 hour day with the kids at a park or what not.

I'm a strong believer that parents also need relaxation time or they will in fact go nuts. The worst day as being a parent is one where everything just goes wrong. If you're a parent you know the days, you work all day, you come home to a trashed house because the kids haven't done their chores, their homework isn't done, for some reason dinner is late, there's no food in the fridge, no time etc etc. Then little johnny comes up and says his science project he forgot to give you the paperwork for is due tomorrow despite weeks of asking him if anything big was on the table. And older suzy tells you she's late for her recital she didn't tell you about either.

Yes, on days like that, put down the keyboard, take off the mic and log off. On the same hand, on the days that go right, by late evening, the kids should be settled in. There's absolutely no crime in telling children "you're on your own for entertainment for the next 3 hours". If their homework is done, house is in decent shape, everyone is fed, you're entitled to your time. I have yet to meet an 11 year old that respects "mommy time" for more than 30 minutes so you're bound to hear them over vent.

Even better is getting the kids into gaming if they are interested. No, not foisting them on your guild (unless they are good, I have a friend whose 11 year old is an amazing DPS'er on a assasin in EQ2). But getting my Girlfriends 11 year old to sit down and play Minecraft or WoW while I'm playing my favorite MMO of choice helped focus the time a bit better.

Every family is different, and I caution against assuming that because a child is asking for attention and you hear it over a mic, that means the children are neglected in favor of the gaming hobby.

Posted: Jan 18th 2011 12:53PM The Minn said

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@Vestas It seems like you are being selfish and are only wanting to introduce easily-persuaded children into the world of MMOs so that you can keep playing. Even on nights where everything went great and 'you're on your own for entertainment for the next 3 hours', don't ignore. If the children show an interest in MMOs then, yes, introduce them but don't do it for your sake...it's a dick move and shows you will be a horrible, selfish, parent. "If their homework is done, house is in decent shape, everyone is fed, you're entitled to your time". If thats your logic and you play that over and over again, well I'm sure your "kid" will enjoy being ignored so you can be l33t
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Posted: Jan 18th 2011 1:02PM Turbana said

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@The Minn

So, Vestas rationally explains their belief and the reasoning behind it and you respond with "it's a dick move and shows you will be a horrible, selfish, parent". I'll give you three guesses that if I had to do childhood all over again which I would rather have as my parent.
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Posted: Jan 18th 2011 1:06PM eiberri said

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@The Minn

+1

It sounds like Vestas' girlfriend has three children: the 11 and 13 year-olds, and Vestas.

"Then little johnny comes up and says his science project he forgot to give you the paperwork for is due tomorrow despite weeks of asking him if anything big was on the table. And older suzy tells you she's late for her recital she didn't tell you about either."

So you punish them for forgetting to tell you about a recital or science project? Do yourself, your girlfriend, and her children a favor, and put down the keyboard and mouse, and get involved in their lives.

When I game, it's either with my fiancee, when we've discussed having out own time to do whatever we want, or when she's out and I've finished all my chores. And yes, I have chores. I'm an adult. Think of it as the RL-version of questing.
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Posted: Jan 18th 2011 1:08PM eiberri said

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@Turbana

You claim that Vestas gave rational explanations for his behavior.

Operative word: claim.

Vestas tried to fish for some support and didn't get it from The Minn and won't get it from me because he's wrong and inconsiderate. It's pretty simple.
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Posted: Jan 18th 2011 1:23PM Enikuo said

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@eiberri Vestas said "Yes, on days like that, put down the keyboard, take off the mic and log off." By asking, " you punish them for forgetting to tell you about a recital or science project," it's clear that you didn't read the post.

Plenty of people I know work from home, which necessitates them setting up boundaries and rules around when it's appropriate to interrupt. I seriously doubt their children are emotionally scarred from it. Tom L is right, it's all about context.
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Posted: Jan 18th 2011 1:23PM Tom L said

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@The Minn : Wow, that's a pretty poor read of what was written and willfully unfair.

Something else left out of the article is the idea that if a child makes a demand on the parent that the parent must respond to it or else they are being neglectful.

One of the most important lessons children, and especially young children, must learn is that of patience and respecting other people's time. What about the parent who is reading a book or working in their garden? Are they not allowed to put their child's demand off for a few moments until they are finished with what they are doing?

Just b/c the parent is available (and my wife is a stay-at-home mom who runs a small farm) does not mean that they exist completely to serve every whim of their child every moment the child is awake.

Again, the context of the situation is important, along with the temperament of the child, parenting style/philosophy, etc.

The 'dick-move' is you getting holier-than-thou with someone you don't know over an issue you have, obviously, zero experience with.

Ta,
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Posted: Jan 18th 2011 5:18PM Vestas said

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@The Minn Wow you so completely misread what I was saying I don't know where to start. I tried to be clear that the kids come first even on "bad days" and you shred me for being some kind of willfully negligent parent? That's quite awesome. Re-read what I said.

The point is this, the best parents find balance. Teaching kids to respect others while also ensuring that your kids feel loved is like walking a tight rope. If you neglect yourself in the equation you will eventually stress out and wear out, which does not do your kids any good in the long run. As a parent your are entitled to "your time" within reason and it can be a valuable lesson in teaching kids both patience and some independence.

As for selfishly only teaching kids about MMO's when it benefits me... erm where did I say that? The 13 year old hates computer games (or any game) with a strong anti-geek attitude. The 11 year old loves games but rarely has the patience for reading all the quest text in MMO's. I treat both of them very differently, especially as the 13 year old reaches those teenage years where all she wants is independence and muscles through the idea that life isn't always fun and responsibilities outweigh "fun time". The 11 year old I work with some online games and teach etiquette (never thought I'd have to ground a child for being a griefer, at least from video games, etc but there you have it).

For you to assume I'm some kind of horrible parent because I espouse the need for parents to have some focus time on themselves is kind of patently ridiculous. Nowhere did I defend parents who 24/7 exclude their kids for the sake of their game time. I work 8-10 hours a day, then spend an hour or two between/around dinner and bed time making sure chores are done, homework is done and food is on the table. Then as it's settle down time, I go play some games with friends, then go to bed. All in a normal day. Abnormal days caused by bad day at work or kids being kids may result in me never seeing a computer screen when I get home from work. That's just how it goes.

And yes, for the record, if children in my care blow off a responsibility of something like a science project until the last minute and fail to inform me until its my problem, there is punishment involved. We get their project done, they get a serious lecture about school work, homework and how they must have too many distractions or things they think are more important than getting big projects done. They then get grounded from digital entertainment and depending on circumstances potentially grounded from friends for at least a week. Bar none that's how it goes in my house. School > fun. Period. I'm not ashamed of that. It's a lesson that must be learned in order to succeed in life.
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Posted: Jan 18th 2011 5:31PM Vestas said

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@eiberri

Amazing, you assume I'm not involved in their lives because I punish them for ignoring major school responsibilities? We make a point of family dinner as often as humanly possible (averages 4-5 nights a week depending on schedules). I take the 13 year old for her favorite treat (A McFlurry) whenever she's on good behavior and it lines up with her activity schedule (about once a week) and *shudder* talk boys, and whats cool and what teachers she hates. She's not a gamer, she wants to be a "cool" kid, something anethema to me. But I make a point of listening to her all the same. Most of the time, she'd rather the adults just go away or she'd rather watching movies off netflix if her friends aren't doing anything. She has a chore list, she gets paid for her chores, she gets paid for good grades, I make a point of taking her to acitvities she loves, be it skating, "kids night out" dances, a friends sleep over or the mall. All contingent on behavior. I'll even leave work to pick her up from school on nasty weather days (she has to walk as we're within the 2 mile radius). She may scream and holler about how parents don't understand etc etc. But frankly, she earns her rewards and she earns her punishments.

The 11 year old is way easier than her because he loves games as much as he loves tearing around the neighborhood on his bike. If he's bored and we have time, it's board game night (13 year old hates those) or video games. Though generally we don't play a lot of video games together, we have wildly different gaming styles.

Suit yourself though. Call me a child if you'd like. Fact is both those kids have life 100x better since I entered their life, I'm proud of them even when they are at their worst. And most of the time, they enjoy getting to make fun of their mom's geeky boyfriend. Re-read my post before you go calling someone you've never met a child and insulting their parenting skills.
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Posted: Jan 19th 2011 4:24AM Snichy said

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@Vestas There is no need to justify your actions or opinion on here to these people who are most likely not parents (and never will be). Speaking as a parent myself, I agree with you but unfortuntely other people will always have an opinion especially when it comes to other peoples kids without any real experience themselves. We know we are doing right by our kids so who cares what the uninformed think, dont rise to it.
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Posted: Jan 18th 2011 12:55PM Germaximus said

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I'm always weirded out by my gamer friends that ignore their children while playing. I kind of get it but at the same time i dont.
I dont blame them because theyre keeping in mind the other players theyre with and in the middle of a battle with but in the end i definitely dont think a video game or tv is a good excuse to ignore your children.

Posted: Jan 18th 2011 12:55PM semajin said

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I think this article misses the larger point of view... that children are inherently evil, sub-human, leeches. The tiny monsters are instinct-driven to sap every small spark of life that happens to manifest itself in their care givers, so of course a natural self-defense mechanism must also take seed in the parent. This is most often interpreted as intentional dereliction by said parent, but its facets are varied. The bottom line here is that children are like gremlins, never EVER feed them after midnight.

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