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Raising Gamers

by Frances Moritz

A few months ago, I wrote about the difficulties of Gaming with babies. Lest I scare anybody off from the thought of parenting, there are good things about involving children in your hobby.

After a recent convention, I returned to work and told my co-workers (who are extremely indulgent and let me talk about my toddler endlessly) that my daughter had progressed to three syllable words and could now say "tentacles". To say they looked at me strangely would be an understatement.

The explanation didn't help... one of the toys that went to the convention with us was a plush Cthulhu. In an effort to be fair when my daughter pointed out her teddy bear's body parts ("eyes", "mouth", "nose"), we pointed out Cthulhu's differences (mainly "tentacles"). Which, of course, led to an explanation of who Cthulhu is....

Gamers live in their own little world (or worlds, depending on how many you design), and while we can't necessarily share the pleasures of raising little gamers with our mundane friends without significant explanations, the pleasures are there nonetheless.

As a parent, I'm learning to enjoy these simple pleasures. The first time my daughter said "dice bag", I completely geeked out. I am so proud that she can say "Thulhu" and hope that some day soon, the letter C will join the rest of his name. I find it very encouraging that she'll stand by my desk and say something resembling "rolling, rolling" to cheer me on while I play Turmac Roll on Neopets. (But don't ask about her DDR skills... she's not that coordinated yet.)

What geek parent doesn't enjoy hearing their child say "dragon" for the first time? Or having your child ask to dress as a character from a geeky show or movie, rather than a mainstream choice?

On Sundays, our gaming group now has a six year old player. In our World of Darkness game, she takes great joy in being our secret weapon - her character's strength is almost double the other characters', so she's frequently employed to break down walls, doors, or other heavy objects we need access to. She gets to thump people in combat too.

Several years ago, I visited my sister, and took along a little game called Fluxx, beginning my niece's obsession with gaming. A month later, just before a family gathering, she asked if I was bringing it with me. I bought her a copy. Now she spends far too many hours online playing various games, and she's scheduled to run Killer Bunnies (another game I introduced her to... oops) at a local convention.

I live in my own little world, but it's OK... other people are welcome here too.

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