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Gaming with Babies

by Frances Moritz

Our gaming group has expanded significantly in the last year. We've gone from three-and-a-half couples with one child at the games to three-and-a-half couples with four children at the games. As each of the three younger children becomes more mobile, we find ourselves adapting our gaming environments around them.

We take diaper breaks as needed, sometimes queuing up when multiple diapers call for changes at the same time. Some of us take breaks to feed the babies in private. We used to have a laptop-filled gaming environment, with extension cords crisscrossing the dining room or living room we play in. This has now been reduced to one or two laptops with more careful placement of cords. In addition, we're relying less on our printed character sheet. The group has always been more role-playing and less roll-playing oriented, which makes this shift easy. It's amazing how much you can remember off a character sheet when you don't want a baby to try eating it!

We try to play somewhere with ample crawling and rolling space, and spend a lot of time rescuing the children or items, all while talking through the adventure. We trip over toys, trying not to trip over the babies or the cats that are fleeing from them.

We have more sick days than we used to. With just one baby, we probably wouldn't have that many, but we have to account for babies' tendency to share everything with each other, including illnesses. As each toy passes from one child to another, stopping in each mouth on the way, we must think about what goes with it.

At this stage, you could easily say the babies are interfering with the games. But we are beginning to see the impact of bringing children to gaming; the oldest child in the group, approaching her sixth birthday, is beginning to join in our games. Besides, the babies look so cute playing with plush dice....

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