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10 things I learned from playing WoW with my 7 year old

10 things I learned from playing WoW with my 7 year old
I took advantage of one of the many Blizzard sales to get The Spawn's account up to date through Cataclysm a few months ago. We made a pandaren duo together and played through the Wandering Isle, choosing Horde, my faction of choice. This is the first time playing together when she's been able to read the quests without my help, so she's a real partner instead of a tagalong. The experience has been illuminating.

The title of this article is kind of misleading, because some of these things I already knew, but "10 things playing with my daughter illuminated for me but I already knew, they just weren't at the forefront of my mind" is a bit unwieldy. Regardless, here they are:

  1. Sprites are scary. Anne Stickney had pointed this out before, but I didn't really get it until playing with The Spawn. After being swarmed by them and dying, I had to play her character in order to get her through a particular questline. It's all OK now. No nightmares. It could have turned into another Raving Rabbids incident -- she still fears them in her sleep. That was a big video game fail on my part. (It's the screaming.)
  1. Don't assume. Whether it's the knowledge of right and left, quests being picked up, or anything really. I have to constantly make sure we are on the same page.
  2. Death is scary. It doesn't matter that it ends up being just a minor annoyance, it's still something people are actually scared of. I remember feeling that way, long ago, but after a couple battlegrounds, I got over it. I won't be introducing her to PvP until she's 12 at this rate.
  3. It's easy to panic. I need to get her a book that says "Don't Panic" in large, friendly letters on the cover.
  4. Tushui is pronounced tushy. You're welcome.
  5. The Wandering Isle ending is bittersweet. Yay, we saved the island! Boo, we'll never see Shen-zin Su again. The Spawn cried. She still gets teary when she hears the music on the login screen. Sensitive Spawn is sensitive.
  6. The Spawn is better at remembering and spelling Pandaren names than I am. I only know the turtle's name because she keeps mentioning him.
  7. Garrosh is a jerk. This I already knew.
  8. It's polite to thank NPCs after they've given you a ride.
  9. The Horde are the bad guys.
That last one is kind of hard for me to admit. I have been a Horde apologist all these years and I have said all the standard arguments: The Tauren are noble and wouldn't side with the truly evil, the other side of the war is always demonized, Thrall is a good guy, the Forsaken aren't so much immoral as amoral, etc. But while I won't stop playing the Horde, I must now admit from this fresh viewpoint that we are, indeed, the bad guys.

For example, you hit the Northern Barrens and after killing innocent animals for their strangely uncommon body parts, you are sent to beat up a guy in order to get information out of him. In contrast, the Darkshore quests send you out to rescue people. You can rescue someone every once in a while on the Horde side, but it's mostly vengeance and torture and other things I'd rather my seven year old wasn't doing. And even when on a rescue mission, your rescuee often stops to blow up things on the way out. Yeah. Bad guys.

We are now happily playing an Alliance duo and spending a lot of time exploring the capital cities while running cooking and fishing errands. We also spend some time adventuring, but helping the hermit create Stitches left a bad taste in her mouth. Oops. Anyone have any more Alliance rescuing quests they can recommend?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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