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Posts with tag kids

Drama Mamas: My GM is a succubus

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

We know, we know: A hot, fresh Succubus managing your every need - in game, in Vent, on the forums ... How's this a problem, again? Unfortunately, we suspect the reader who submitted the headline question this week was thinking of the more traditional type of succubus: the life force-sucking vampires who impose a real-life Curse of Exhaustion on their hapless victims. Yeah, this guy from this week's headline sub-mission (har, har) has got it that bad. The Drama Mamas exorcise his demon, plus explore what to do when you catch a young guildmate indulging in some not-so-pretty behavior, after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Features, Drama Mamas

Breakfast Topic: Do you know where your children are?

Lately, I've been writing a series of articles on playing with your children. First, I talked about playing with preschoolers, like my own daughter, and then about reading age children. Though both articles are about playing with young children and I recommend not letting them play WoW by themselves, many readers complained in the comments that I was encouraging children to run amok in Azeroth. I certainly understand their concerns, because encountering rude and/or needy young ones while playing can really reduce your enjoyment.

The other night, I started a gnome mage and came across a couple of other gnomes while entering the noobie troll cave. We grouped up to get to Grik'nir the Cold and the leader of the group, we'll call him Goodkid asked our ages. I said my ancient age, Goodkid said he was 11 and the other kid, we'll call him Juvie, said "U R GAY UR 44". Now, I'm not completely hip on the cool talk of today, but I think that translates into English as: "Excuse me, but I think you are lying about your age." Juvie then stated he was 10.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Breakfast Topics

WoW, Casually: Playing with your reading-age child

Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Since I last wrote about playing with preschoolers, I have been having an extremely rewarding time playing Itchee with The Spawn. The benefits to both of us are even greater than I originally wrote about. I find that my Itchee time is making me appreciate all of my WoW time even more. Nurturing my child while enjoying my limited playtime is a win-win situation.

It's particularly nice to have this indoor activity to do together with the nasty heatwave we are having in the real world. And that leads me to something I want to address before we get into the guide for playing with reading-age children:

These guides are for parents who have made the educated decision to include WoW as one of the indoor activities to participate in with their children.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW, Casually

Breakfast Topic: Back from school

We're in the dog days of summer at this point -- the sun is high and hot, the beaches and swimming pools are full, and if you're a kid, the days are long and lazy. Which is probably why we've got all the kids in game lately -- as donnyman notes, when school lets out and summer is underway, the population of Azeroth seems to get much bigger during the day. Some might say that's a good thing: more people playing means more PuGs and more AH buying and selling, while others might say they don't really want more of the younger audience in the game.

I haven't had too much experience with this lately, as most of my gametime is in the evenings and on weekends, so I already see most of the school folks as I play. But I do remember the yearly migration of kids to video games -- I worked at Gamestop for about a year and a half after college, and sure enough, whenever school let out, we had more kids in the store talking about how they'd spent all day yesterday playing online.

So is it a problem for you, or have you even noticed the influx of summer visitors at all? We have to be careful not to generalize here, as while some younger folks can cause issues (either by acting like kids, or just by filling up the instance queues), there are certainly others who act very mature for their age. Some of them, especially with parental supervision, can actually make model players. So the question here is: how have you experienced the sudden rash of schoolkids?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics

WoW, Casually: Playing with your preschooler

Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

In the comments for Drama Mamas, Orkchop asked about tips for playing WoW with his 3 year old daughter. Since, as he put it, this is more of a Mama question than a drama question and I also have a 3 year old daughter, I thought I'd create a guide for playing WoW with preschoolers. Parents have limited playtime due to their family priorities -- not necessarily because they don't want to play as much as the more hardcore players. So mixing parental duties and leisure time is efficient as well as rewarding.

The question some of you may ask is, "Should children that young play video games?" And the answer is not just "yes", but "Yes!" At the beginning of this year, I spent some time working with getting my daughter comfortable with the computer, concentrating on mouse manipulation and keyboard movement while playing many of the free preschool-age video games out there. Within a week, she was reading words like "Play" and "Skip" and navigating through Nick Jr.'s site to her favorite radio station, which she listens to while playing with her toys. The freely available games on sites like PBS Kids have really improved many of her developmental skill sets and her computer skills are now better than most of her grandparents'. Of course, now I'm having to closely monitor her computing time, lest I be subjected to fart videos from YouTube... again.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW, Casually

German Social Affairs minister calls for higher rating on World of Warcraft

Germany is reeling from a shooting rampage committed by a 17-year-old, and as happens in many of these situations, politicians are looking for answers to why a young man would do this to his community. One of the answers they've found so far is videogames. While we don't actually know if the young man played games or not (or what he played), Germany's Minister for Social Affairs Mechthild Ross-Luttmann is calling for a few games, World of Warcraft among them, to be moved up from an age 12+ rating to an adults-only classification.

The tie between the shooter and WoW is slim. But a new study over there says that 50,000 to 60,000 minors could be classified as addicted to videogames. And the combination of the two events is causing Ross-Luttman to call for stronger ratings on "addictive" games like World of Warcraft. It's also interesting to note that in the US, the game is rated T by the ESRB, which actually calls for children 13 and up to play it, one year older than the German standard.

But of course there are two conclusions here. First, every parent needs to take responsibility for what their younger children do: if these kids are addicted, parents need to step in and make sure things get straightened out. As a former employee of a gaming retail store, I can tell you that ratings only go so far. The responsibility has to lie with the parents. And secondly, while Ross-Luttmann is apparently using the shooting to try and push this agenda against addiction, the young man involved in the shooting was experiencing deep depression, and had access to firearms that he probably shouldn't have had. Changing game ratings is fine, but it won't do anything to help when you've got much bigger problems to deal with first.

[via GamePolitics]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, News items

WoW Rookie: Putting a leash on playtimes for young players

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

When school's out, WoW's in ... Is that the usual state of affairs at your house? If you want to limit the times when your kids can log in – protecting evening study time and bedtime, or setting weekend, holiday and vacation limits – then you need Blizzard's parental control feature. Parental control settings allow you to choose blocks of time that an account is and is not accessible for play. Players cannot log in during restricted hours, and they'll be automatically logged out if they play past their allowed time window.

The parental control is part of the account user interface on the web. Anyone who has access to an account's log-in and password can set up parental controls on the account. Once parental controls have been created, they may be modified only with access via a parental control password.

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Filed under: Tips, Features, WoW Rookie, Account Security

Gallery: Stormwind construction

With the release of Patch 2.4.3 today, construction has commenced at the docks in Stormwind. It's located between Cathedral Square and The Park, at the end of the canals. If you talk to the workers in the area, they'll tell you that they are preparing to bust out the wall to create a new entrance to the city. There's lots of life bustling around the construction site, and here's your first tour.

Filed under: Patches, News items, NPCs, Galleries

World of WarCrafts: The secret of the ooze

Every Thursday, Shelbi Roach of The Bronze Kettle guides you in creating WoW-inspired crafts using real world mats with World of WarCrafts.

Being a mom of two boys, this is definitely a good recipe to have in my bag of tricks. Slime is ultimate fun, and the ingredients are super cheap. The secret to this ooze is clear glue and a small amount of Borax solution.

Here is what you will need:
  • 1/2 cup of clear Elmer's glue
  • 1 cup of water
  • Borax Solution (1/4 cup of water + 1/4 teaspoon of Borax)
  • Food Coloring
  • Skull
Optional supplies:
  • Broken Weapon
  • Coins
Click on the images below to view a gallery of step-by-step instructions.
DISCLAIMER: Common sense here; don't eat the slime. Definitely don't eat the Borax.

Filed under: How-tos, World of WarCrafts

15 Minutes of Fame: Hello Kiddie

15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft Hello Kitty Online players of all shapes and sizes – both the renowned and the relatively anonymous.

Since all the hardcore HKOers are locked up in Hello Kitty Online's closed beta NDA agreement, this week's 15 Minutes of Fame chats with a young MMO player who is anxiously awaiting her turn in the Flower Kingdom. Six-year-old Amillia, a level 23 warrior on Argent Dawn and CakeMania 2 fan, enjoys the occasional hour online under the watchful eye of her mother and big brother -- but longs for the day when she can accept new quests from Hello Kitty herself.

15 Minutes of Fame: So, Amillia, when your days of Cleaving are over, what are you most looking forward to in Hello Kitty Online?
Amillia: Oooh, making my room. It just sounds so great! I want to do harvesting and go in other people's places and stores. None of my friends play World of Warcraft, but I hope that their moms will let them get Hello Kitty Online so we can play together. I hope my character looks just like me -- or maybe a little sweet kitty. I want a pink bow in my hair with flowers on it.

Did you apply to the HKO beta?
I wanted to, but we didn't have time to do the video thing, so we couldn't. We decided to wait for the game.

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Filed under: Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Gamers on the Street: WoW as child's play

Gamers on the Street logs onto U.S. servers to get the word from the front on what's going on in and around the World of Warcraft.

How young is too young to play WoW? We've discussed the ups and downs of grouping with kids quite a few times over the years, but the topic – like the kids themselves – just won't go away. Earlier this week, we interviewed an 11-year-old SSC raider and his mother. While most reader comments applauded the family for a disciplined, sensible approach to online gaming, a few readers seemed confused or even aghast that someone so young would be allowed to play World of Warcraft.

Gamers on the Street decided to pop in on Bloodscalp, a high-population PvP realm with what one supposes would be a correspondingly tough outlook on kiddie action. We surveyed several level 70 players at random, asking them about their own experiences with children in game. The consensus: Jerks come in all shapes, sizes and ages -- and children and teens are no better or worse than their adult counterparts. Hear out their reasoning, after the break.

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Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Features, Interviews, Gamers on the Street

On age discrimination

Fraid is a young player who says that people show discrimination towards teenagers in WoW. He plays maturely and responsibly, so well that most of the time other players are surprised to find out how young he is. Yet he often encounters guild requirements that say one's age must be 21 or higher to join. Is this fair?

In my own experience I've certainly met kids like Fraid who can behave just as well as (if not better than) most of the adults I've encountered in WoW. I've also met players who came across as bragging and became very difficult for me to deal with until a friend said "They're only 12," and I understood. After that, I found it much easier to tolerate the things they were saying as just part of being a teenager rather than some plot to make me feel inadequate. Another time, I went through several 2-vs-2 arena matches in which my friend was strangely quiet, and yet playing very well. Afterwards, my friend explained that it wasn't her at the keyboard, it was her 10-year old friend. This friend isn't very good at typing and talking, but he certainly knows how to play!

Kids can be fantastic players, or lousy ones, just like anyone else you might encounter -- it isn't right to judge them based on age alone. The fair way to deal with kids in WoW is to give them a chance to show their skill, and even to help them improve however you can. If they prove unreasonable, then kick them out the same way you would an unreasonable adult. For those adults who just exclude young people from their activities altogether without giving them a chance, there's no denying it is prejudice -- judging before knowing -- and it often means depriving yourself of some quality talent for your group. Of course, if your guild does some sort of ERP, or other "adult" activities, then by all means, exclude away! But in normal gaming, especially in a casual guild or a PuG, there's really no reason a kid shouldn't be allowed to join unless they've already shown themselves unable to do what's required of them. Anyone who says, "some of these people are not fun to be around, so I'll just exclude the whole lot of them," has some growing up of their own to do.

[Thanks Raegn!]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Forums

Reader WoWspace of the Week: Erikmathew

This week for our "Almost time for the American Food, Family, and Football Day" edition, we're bringing a WoWspace to you that keeps the family in mind. It doesn't just house Erikmathew, L64 Undead Rogue of <Sabotage> from the Sargeras server; it's the space where he and his kids geek out together. Here's the 411 on this space from Erikmathew (he named his Rogue for his son) himself:

OK, here is a picture of my down to earth WoWspace. Included in the picture is -- first and foremost -- my assistant copilot Meg (4) who is someday sure to be a vital part of the WoW community. Also pictured is my 39 gallon aquarium, which is very calming after a long night of raiding. From there, you'll notice my logitech X230 speakers, 19" Dell LCD screen, Logitech Elite Keyboard LE, and Logitech Marble Mouse.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Reader WoWspace of the week

WoW Moviewatch: Drugs, my anti-World of Warcraft

A simple premise done well. I can't say that I officially recommend drugs as an alternative to this game (or that I agree with the idea that doing drugs is better for you than raiding for epics every weekend), but I thought the joke here was done pretty well.

And especially well for just some kids messing around. The sound, colors, and the music all worked, and while you can't fault those anti-drug PSAs for doing what they do, they do have a certain style to them that begs to be parodied.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Humor, WoW Moviewatch

Run over by the Succubus II

Syphonis is back. The poor young Warlock who got banned from WoW by his parents for the "oooh ooooh"ing succubus is back on the forums with another tale of woe.

It's still funny (he's now learned how to pronounce Succubus, though his mother is a little freaked out that she "seduces" people, and we learned the real reason why his parents want him out of WoW: because child predators play "mmogrpos"), but I'm more inclined to call "shenanigans" on this one-- the insight on how kids work seems too mature to me somehow.

Then again, as any parent will tell you, kids are insidious at convincing you to give them their way. Fortunately, he closes the epic story with an acknowledgment that school is just around the corner, and that WoW is going to take a back seat to that for a little while. Sounds like the best thing for everyone, buddy.

Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Humor

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