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Posts with tag family

WoW Moviewatch: Family

Some stories are simple and beautiful enough that they barely need words. Told with a laconic, thoughtful pace, Family relates the heartwarming love of an unlikely adoption. You don't see many machinima like this. Not only is the animation pleasing and convincing (even if baby elves are a little creepy), but the entire piece is told with so much soul and reality that you almost wonder if something in real life inspired it.

As Nixxiom said when he suggested this movie, this is a video that hits you "right in the feels." It's an incredibly well done piece, and probably one of the best I've ever seen.
Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Breakfast Topic: Do you play WoW with a family member?

Breakfast Topic Do you play WoW with a family member
I have two duos going right now. I'm playing a mistweaver with The Spousal Unit's brewmaster and I'm playing a windwalker with The Spawn's frost mage. Both are good times but very different. My daughter and I are leveling very slowly. We stop to smell every peacebloom and sometimes the only questing we get done are the Ironforge cooking and fishing dailies. But we're having a great time tooling around on my two-seater rocket and generally being silly.

The duo with The Spousal Unit is completely different. We're speeding through dungeons on our monk experience buffs and he's definitely a GOGOGOer. I prefer a slower pace -- enough to actually see my surroundings rather than just running from place to place watching health bars. But he wants to get through as many instances as possible in a session. This has led to some discord, but for the most part we are happily GOGOGOing.

Are you playing with a significant other, sibling, parent, or child? Or are you the lone WoW player in your family? Or do you purposely not play with family because of possible out-of-game drama being brought in game or vice versa?

The family that plays together stays together? Maybe? Let us know.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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

WoW Moviewatch: Family

I don't know how Family got under my radar for so long but I'm glad I finally saw it. Big thanks to tipster Zac for bringing it to my attention. Take the time to watch it. The plot is simple, beautiful, and somewhat bittersweet in just the right way.

One of the most impressive pieces of Family is how the creator used different WoW models to portray age. By switching the undead and elf models, you could tell the characters were progressing through the stages of their lives. While I might quibble that I think of undead being immortal, the end effect was excellent. This was a really nice piece.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: Introducing friends to WoW

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic Introducing friends to WoW
Each week, Blog Azeroth hosts a Shared Topic for bloggers to answer on their own blogs and then link to in the forum. This week, frinka from Warcraft Street asks:
Have you ever tried to introduce real life friends to WoW? If yes, how did it go? If you never have, why not?
All of my gamer friends are playing or have played WoW, and my non-gamer friends have neither the inclination for video games nor the systems to run MMO. So no on the friends.

Moving on to family, I wanted to get my mother into it -- like I got her into Might and Magic, XCOM, and Spaceward Ho -- but her laptop was able to run Pogo, and that's about it. My gaming sisters tried WoW and other MMOs on their own. The Spousal Unit of course played; he's taking a break to be addicted to play Minecraft.

That leaves The Spawn, my now 6-year-old daughter, with whom I've had both success and failure getting to play.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Drama Mamas: Roommate vs. family

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.

Ah, college. Good times. The music was fun, too.

On to the drama.
Hey drama mamas!

So, I'm going to try and keep this short. I have played on the same realm for three years (since I started). My dad and brother have both recently started playing and joined me on this realm. My dad has two 85s, and my brother is still working on his first. I've also developed great relationships with my guild, but its starting to dwindle down.

Here's my problem. I'm starting college next month, and my roommate (who played nor only on a different server, but the opposite faction) wants me to join her. I have no problem with this, but she really wants me to just server transfer as opposed to just starting a new alt.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

I write about dragons on the internet, Dad

When I moved in with my father, part of it was a genuine interest in reconnecting with him, and part of it was a keen desire to help around the house and simply keep him company. My dad turns 83 this year, although you couldn't really tell that from looking at him or talking to him. He grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere, worked for Dow Chemical for an extraordinary number of years, retired, and somewhere in between had two marriages and five children. (I'm one of the products of the second marriage.)

He has seen quite a lot in his life. He saw Snow White and the Seven Dwarves when it premiered in theaters in 1937. His first car was a Model-T that he dug out of a neighbor's manure pile and inexplicably got running again when he was 14. He served in the military as a paratrooper, worked with some of the first computers in existence, and can fix just about anything I bring to him, regardless of how technologically advanced the thing is. He hasn't grown old so much as he's watched the world get older around him and adapted to it as time goes on.

And yet I still have this terrible reticence about trying to explain to him exactly what it is I do on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings, and what I do for a living.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

How do you balance game and family?

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

No matter your walk of life, we all have time management challenges. Within that spectrum, there are the most fortunate who have personal assistants to manage their next nose hair removal appointment, to those dealing with significant life-and-death issues that none of us would ever want to contemplate. However, within the WoW community, there is a sizeable portion of us who are full-time working parents. Gone are my early college days (early '90s, egad!) when I used to slack off and play MUDs (Valhalla, anyone?) all night long without a care in the world ... I could always blow off a class or two and still pass.

With kids, it's a completely different ballgame. Not only do young children demand your attention after you get home from a long day at work, it's your responsibility to spend quality time with them. Make them a healthy dinner, read books with them, play games, go outside for a walk, give them a bath, watch a ballgame with them. These are precious moments that I savor. However, this added responsibility can add a lot of stress. It's therapeutic to expunge it when we actually have a free moment. Gaming is one of my releases. I feel fortunate that I can actually squeeze in two raiding nights a week, but that's it for me. With raiding, there is a schedule that my wife and family are comfortable with. It's how I choose to prioritize my WoW goals. I can't run heroics. Dailies, yeah, right -- it's either bath time, a tee ball game, or we need to rush our toddler to the doctor because his diaper is full of purple poo. Stay out of the purple poo, BTW.

As a parent, how do you prioritize in-game goals?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

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.

Read more →

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: How do you cope with muggles who don't "get" 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.

We have a hunter in our guild whose mother does not understand World of Warcraft at all. She's the type who doesn't use computers, refused to have an internet connection in the house until this very year, and thinks that MMOs sound the death knell for her hopes of having grandchildren. My friend the hunter has painstakingly explained that raids are a group activity, that there are real people behind the colorful avatars, and that it's not polite to jump up and leave in the middle of fighting a raid boss -- to no avail. The mother still doesn't understand what could be so compelling on a computer screen that her child can't be at her beck and call.

We all know people who are not WoW players, and most of us have had the experience of trying to explain our favorite game to someone who just doesn't get it, whether that someone is a parent, a significant other, a coworker, or a friend. My own efforts have met with varying results. My family still can't quite wrap their heads around a gaming hobby, but after much persuading I was able to convince my last girlfriend to give WoW a try. She's a valued guildie to this day.

Have you ever had to explain your World of Warcraft hobby to the uninitiated? What was the hardest thing for them to understand? What kind of reaction did you get? Have you convinced any of them to try the game themselves?

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: Family or fun?

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.

The family that plays together, stays together ... or do they? Family playstyles are not always compatible, as The Groom discovers.
Dear Drama Mamas,

I have been engaged to my fiancée for more than a year now. Since last June or July, we have been playing WoW together. I have been an experienced Warcraft player since Warcraft 3 -- knowing the ins and outs of lore, the game, etc. Her only experience was being powerleveled previously by friends who just needed an extra person -- so not much experience sitting down and learning the game. We decided to level up fresh characters together, and it was wonderful teaming up together, with her being a female draenei warrior and I a human paladin. It seemed like a good teamwork-building exercise for us as a couple.

Going on in the background, my two brothers took over and began maintaining a serious raiding guild. They've been doing serious raiding with their level 80s and gearing up for ICC and Ruby Sanctum. Obviously, my fiancée and I were not high enough level to participate but we were invited to the guild as their loving brother and his soon-to-be wife -- who is cool enough to play WoW with (many guys cannot seem to find a girl who will willingly participate in their leisure activities, fantasy sports or what-not).

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

15 Minutes of Fame: Road warrior dad keeps up with son via WoW

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

By now, most of us know somebody or have at least heard of somebody in an extended family that stays close by gaming together. Fact is, we can't really think of a better way to strengthen family ties across the miles. We all know that common interests are the mortar in a thriving relationship, and we know that kids open up with long-distance relatives most easily when the pressure's not on them to conversationally "perform." When you game with family across the miles, you share a real-time hobby with all the attendant chatter, enthusiasm and companionship that naturally comes along.

Meet Golis, aka Blaine Sundrud. The 40-year-old traveling sales engineer spends a huge portion of his life on the road -- so he's turned to WoW to help keep in touch with his teenage son. "We have been able to use our time in game to eliminate the fact that I am in a hotel in Florida while he is still home in Utah," he explains. "We get on a phone call (hooray for free long-distance) and can just talk and fool around for the evening."

The family connection doesn't end there. "Combine that with the fact that my parents (who live in Pennsylvania) play on the same server (both of them)," Golis continues. "While they are not the WoW addicts that my son and I are, we can usually count on a couple times a month conferencing them in on our call, and the four of us can go instancing, fishing, or just generally looking at the scenery. Due to the cost of travel, my son probably sees his grandparents in person once a year. Thanks to WoW, he has been able to get to know and play with them as if they just lived over the river and through the woods."

Read more →

Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

BlizzCon 2010: The view from fourth grade

There sure are a lot of blood elf women at BlizzCon. Anywhere you look, it seems, you'll spot a pair of pointed ears knifing through the crowd, which inevitably widens as eager fans stop to focus their lenses on vast expanses of uncovered blood elf skin. The blood elf population, of course, isn't nearly as high as the veritable legions of black T-shirted men, nor the masses of brunettes sporting red or blue streaks. Those stylings have practically become an official entry badge for BlizzCon 2010.

What you won't find at BlizzCon, though, are kids. Blizzard has set a minimum age of 5 to attend the event, but most parents opt to leave even older kids at home. It's a pretty logical decision; $150 is a pretty steep price to pay for a child who doesn't have the patience for long programs, the endurance for long lines or the interest in ancillary things like hardware booths. Most of the few kids WoW Insider has spotted at the con have been traipsing dutifully along behind their parents, noses plastered to their Nintendo DSes or cell phone games. They're not the true WoW fans of the family -- and it shows.

Not young Ethan, who plays a just-under-level-cap death knight and is a fourth-grader from Torrance, California. Ethan's attending BlizzCon with his dad this year and loving every moment of it.

Read more →

Filed under: BlizzCon, Cataclysm

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