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Posts with tag family-friendly

Blizzard releases parental control video

Parental controls are of paramount importance in games such as WoW, which appeal to a wide audience of young and old, and are sufficiently immersive to permit lengthy sessions. Blizzard has long advocated responsible gaming, and WoW Insider is no different. To this end, Blizzard has released a video clearly and carefully laying out all the Parental Control options available to the WoW-playing family.

These include:
  • Limited hours' play per day or per week
  • Scheduled playtimes and preset schedules
  • Limiting of the use of RealID and in-game voice chat
  • Preventing use of Diablo III's Real Money Auction House
  • Automatically generated weekly playtime reports.
These features may be useful for more than just parents. Students wishing to ensure they aren't distracted by WoW could have their own parents set up controls for them, or players who wish to limit themselves for any other reason could do the same. Additionally, any player might appreciate weekly reports of their playtime!

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items

A parent's guide to World of Warcraft for kids

Is WoW appropriate for children? While we're sure the inevitable trolls out there are already clicking straight to the comments to revile the very idea of allowing children into Azeroth, the fact is that with preparation and consistent parent moderation, WoW can be a fine fit for kids -- especially for families with parents who already spend time in Azeroth. It's definitely one of those cases in which your mileage may vary; parents who don't already play or who take a more hands-off approach to gaming will probably want to wait until their little goblins- or worgen-to-be are well into their teen years.

For players whose kids are itching to join in the family fun, though, there are plenty of ways to make World of Warcraft a productive, happy experience for kids, parents, and fellow players alike. Here's the thing: There's more to think about and more ways to throttle age-related issues than simply turning off trade chat and forbidding PUGs before walking into the other room to watch TV. We'll show you how to find the best fit for WoW with kids, teens, and even parents themselves.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: Do your kids play WoW with you?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

My 10-year-old son is quickly becoming a World of Warcraft junkie (can't imagine where he gets that from ...). He has two characters, a gnome mage and a tauren warrior. He hasn't managed to level either of them past 13, but that doesn't bother him in the least. He runs from capital to capital, fishing, riding the zeppelin or Deeprun Tram, hooking up with whichever relative is "lucky" enough to be on at that moment and even occasionally completing a quest. My brother, brave fellow that he is, actually took my son for a run through Ragefire Chasm. I still haven't heard the end of that. I confess to sometimes using his WoW obsession for nefarious purposes -- it makes a great reward for chores or homework well done!

If you have kids, do you let them play WoW? What types of characters do they play? Do you find it necessary to take any precautions? What limits do you set? Whether you do or you don't, what is your reasoning behind it? Are you concerned that they might fall in with a "rough crowd?" Do you love the idea of teaming up with your kiddo to take on Erudax? Are your kids in your guild? Chime in, all you WoW parents out there!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Do you let your own children play WoW?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

I suppose that I was destined to play computer games. My dad played strategy board games with his friends into the wee hours of the morning until my mom demanded use of her kitchen table back. Eventually, he, my brother and I discovered Age of Empires II. We played online on dial-up internet, cursing the people who called our house while we were gaming. Some friends clued me into WoW in high school, and I've been hooked ever since.

My parents were always cautious with my internet exposure. When I played AoE, I understood that I was not to repeat the foul language I saw in chat, and if people were being particularly vulgar, I would voluntarily remove myself from that particular game. Even as an adult in WoW, I often /leave trade, especially late at night, because I have no interest in seeing keyboard sewage on my screen. Moreover, when I'm visiting my parents and let my younger sisters play on their gnomes, the first thing that I do is /leave trade, and I or someone else keep an eye on the screen while they're playing.

I fully expect that one day, my own children will play video games if they so desire. However, I am aware that the internet is an adult world. Some parents blame other players when their child sees something adult while playing WoW. I tend to take the other approach and blame the parent, either for not closely monitoring their child's play or for not teaching their child how to avoid the adult content.

What has been your experience? How do you monitor the game play of your own children, and do you have any tips for keeping the potentially harmful aspects of the WoW atmosphere away from your child?

Do you let your own children play WoW?
Yes.1729 (32.9%)
No.1084 (20.6%)
Yes, with age-appropriate monitoring and restrictions.2439 (46.4%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Drama Mamas: When NSFW guild chat aggros a parent

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

We are planning a special Drama Mamas that talks about the results of our advice -- good or bad. Some of our letter writers have responded in the comments, but we'd love to hear from more of you. If you have had your letter answered here and would like to be included, please send us an email at letting us know how your situation turned out.

Now on to this week's letter:
Last Saturday night very late in the evening and pushing into the early morning, our guild chat erupted into the usual filthy conversation as drunk people came home and got online, and those of us that were online slackened our usual standards to join in. However, this time, one of the guild members exploded after about half an hour of this, claiming that her 12-year-old child was on, that we had scarred him for life and ruined his childhood. I helpfully pointed out that perhaps she was not being the best parent for allowing her young child to be playing the game very late at night with an unfiltered chat box -- not the best move I have ever made.

This has now blown up to the point where I have left a guild I was very happy in to attempt to ease the obvious grief that the guild leaders were getting from this person. Unfortunately, this has not stopped it, as many of the guild members who were involved are still arguing about the situation and are disappointed that I have left. This guild member is now going to report us all to Blizzard and attempt to get us all banned from the game permanently. I was hoping for a neutral view on this.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Breakfast Topic: Are children welcome in your guild?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to our pages.

Children are so much fun and a joy to have around, right? Maybe that's true in real life (at least for a lot of people), but in a guild setting in World of Warcraft, children present some difficult situations. I've been the "guild mom" for two guilds with child members (one who is between the ages of 8 and 15), so I've had a lot of experience.

We all have seen children in a guild. Many beg or ask for gold. They want to be run through instances or helped to level. They ask silly questions. And their reading levels may not be high enough for them to follow the quest text. Guild chat may be filled with: "Can someone help me level?" "Can I have some gold?" "Are we there yet?" And everyone has to watch what is said in guild chat.

Helping children to become strong guild members requires a commitment of time from other members. Some guilds do not want to give that time, so they say "adults only." Other guilds welcome children and work through the problems. All this requires some planning, some commitment of time and lots of patience. The good news is that as time goes on, children mature, and they may become a core of solid members for the future who know how to pass on the lessons they learned to the next generation.

Are children welcomed and helped in your guild? Does your guild restrict membership to adults only? Are children allowed, but everyone hates it when they are online?

Filed under: Guilds, Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

15 Minutes of Fame: When the guild family is literally all family

15 Minutes of Fame is's look at World of Warcraft personalities of all shapes and sizes -- from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, from the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

Looking for group? Not in this family. We've featured players before who share playtime with family members, but we're not sure that we've ever visited with anyone who actively plays WoW with every member of her immediate family ... and then some. First, there was Fizzcrank (US-A) player Artio and her husband Anomoly. Then Artio's 59-year-old mother decided to investigate what the couple was up to all the time. Hooked, she brought Artio's father into the fold. The oldest sister followed suit. Look who's playing now: Artio and her husband, her mother, her father, her two brothers, her two sisters, two spouses, Artio's two brothers-in-law and four grandchildren ... Not to mention the "extended family" of real-life friends.

Does this family run its own groups and 10-man raids? Of course! "My dad loves his pala-tank and becomes quite obsessive about gearing him with the best pre-ICC gear he can find, while my mother's hunter is doing more damage to the wildlife than Nesingwary," Artio reports. "It's a wonderful feeling to have three generations of WoW players together tackling anything from old-school content to newer heroics." Follow us past the break to meet this WoW-playing family.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Breakfast Topic: Are you in a parent-friendly raiding guild?

Recently, I wrote about the raiding as a parent and many of the commenters mentioned that they belong to raiding guilds that are extremely family friendly. These guilds are made up of parents who have similar schedules and little ones who may interrupt at inconvenient times. I knew these guilds existed, but I didn't think they were very common. In fact, I thought they were rare and wonderful things, like playgrounds without graffiti.

It is very important for parents, particularly of small children, to get some child-free leisure time in every day. But you are a parent 24/7, so no time is completely child-free. Most guilds understand when you have to AFK for emergencies and you don't make a habit of it, but few guilds want you to raid with them if your AFKing is more regular. Also, start times for parent-friendly guilds are post-bedtime which is often a couple hours later than guilds with child-free players who eat dinner at their desks while preparing for their raids.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Raiding

Guildwatch: It's not me, it must be you

I don't think I've ever seen the fall of a guild as documented as Underscore is in Guildwatch this week -- someone has been taking screenshots aplenty of all the whispers going back and forth, and surprisingly, most of them have actually come from the guildleader of the guild in question. If you've ever wanted to see how a guild can fall apart from tell to tell, here's your chance.

That and lots more (including some actual good news) in Guildwatch this week, which starts right after the link below. Guild news is slowing down for Wrath, so please help us fill our inbox: send your downed, drama, and recruiting tips to if you have them, so we can make sure the column is nice and packed next week. Thanks!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch, Bosses

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