Each week, Robin Torres contributes Azeroth Interrupted, a column about balancing real life with WoW.
Kids on the internet is (or at least should be) a pretty scary thing for parents. There are predators, perverts or people with questionable ideas
that you just don't want to expose your children to. I find it odd, therefore, that so many parents
let their elementary school age children play WoW
unsupervised. They must see it as an electronic babysitter
like television or single player video games rather than what it really is: having your child be babysat by 9 million potential weirdos. These children attempt to get much needed guidance and attention from whatever stranger happens to be nearby. But players don't know how old unknown, needy players are -- they just see them as a nuisance and verbally abuse them accordingly.
More than just exposing children to negative influences, these parents are missing out on a great opportunity to teach their children some very important life lessons. Children go to school to get educated, but they are supposed to learn their values at home. I believe that playing WoW
with your children can be a great way to instill them with some very basic yet important values. My daughter is not even preschool age yet, but when she is ready, I plan to play WoW
with her -- probably after playing Toontown
and maybe CoH
first(there's no death, just defeat). I will play MMOs with her because I've seen the result of parents actively playing MMOs with their children. For example, there was Bigmo.
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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Azeroth Interrupted