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How 5 minutes AFK cost one WoW player 476,000 gold

How 5 minutes AFK cost one WoW player 476,000 gold
We've all been there: leaving World of Warcraft running on our computers while we've run off to grab a soda or take a bio break. However, most of us return to find our characters safe and sound just as we left them. Not so for WoW-player 1104, who returned to his desk to find that most of his 476,000 gold was missing in action. The culprit? His 6-year-old son, who went on a pet shopping spree, picking up the rarest -- and priciest -- pets on the auction house.

It could have been worse, of course: clearing out gold isn't nearly as bad as clearing out a real life bank account, as kids have done accidentally with in-app purchases in mobile games. But still, getting half-way to the gold cap is nothing to sneeze at -- it represents a lot of time and effort, if nothing else.

So what's a WoW-playing parent to do? 1104 couldn't really blame his son, but does think this might be a sign that it's time to walk away from WoW. On the flip side, he could also take up pet collecting: he's bound to be off to a great start!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

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

Forum post of the day: Where's my big brother

At one point in time Chuck Norris jokes dominated trade chat. Then it was the Murloc game. I'm sure we've all noticed that now it's the anal <insert spell> gibberish that now floods the channel. Dolce of Blackrock believes that it's time the Blizzard begin moderating trade channels during prime time. The chat channel can be turned off, but then it loses utility for valid messages such as selling enchants, transmutes, and well, general trade.

As a parent, Dolce continued his argument:

Wow has a very broad appeal and the average parent would look at the packaging of the World of Warcraft and assume that it is nothing more than a fantasy game where their son or daughter can play with their friends and have "adventures".
The average parent I imagine (and this is merely a broadstroke comment based on the huge playerbase), may not have any sort of familiairity with online games, and even to a certain degree, computers as a whole.
Asking parents (although I am extremely attentive to what my childrens activities are) to have an intimate knowledge of joining and exiting out of city channels is a bit extreme. Perhaps if there were parental controls that you could set ot make this easier...... /wink
In any event I would not be suprised to see some news anchor with some over the top expository on the lewd and profane content that is seen in WoW spun out of context in the near future.
I would say they would be killing a variety of birds with one stone if they simply moderated these popular channels.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

World of WarCrafts: Duskwood chest

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

Father's Day is looming just around the corner (for some of us anyway) and what better way to celebrate fatherhood than a chest full of loot? Another uninspired neck-tie and socks combo is hard to beat but hopefully the target of this gift can appreciate the change of pace. If you happen to be the giver of this veritable cornucopia of awesomeness, prepare to be lavished with praise. If you happen to be on the potential receiving end, it might not be a bad idea to drop some subtle hints to your loved ones about a certain column on your favorite weblog.

Here is what you will need:
Gift Ideas:
Click on the images below to view a gallery of step-by-step instructions.

Filed under: How-tos, World of WarCrafts

Is it time for age restricted servers?


Anyone who has been playing WoW for a bit knows that this game is unique in that both adults and children can enjoy it at the same time. Indeed this duality can be considered one of the best features of the game. How often can you sit down with your son or daughter and truly enjoy the same video game? Besides the amazing adventures of Dora The Explorer, other kid friendly games like Disney Online's Toon Town and Club Penguin just don't provide the same level of enjoyment for adults and their children. (What's the game in Dora, you ask? Assisting her in finding the red berries or yelling at Swiper. See this not-safe-for-work Kevin Smith YouTube excerpt for an explanation.)

However with that in mind, there are some compelling arguments that its due time for World of Warcraft to get a few age restricted servers.

For starters, take a look at what Second Life has done. They're a pretty successful venture, and have a lot of parallels to MMORPGS like WoW. They've created a server called Teen Second Life in which they do their best to only allow teenagers between the ages of 13 – 17 access. When you turn 18 you're moved up to the adult server along with all your gear and property. Of course this has the same pitfalls as any other internet site where you can fake your identity, but it is a start; and a good one since Linden Labs actively polices age restrictions.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends, News items

Addon Spotlight: WoW Timer


It's so easy to lose track of time when playing World of Warcraft. You start out grinding this reputation, leveling that alt, then get invited to go run an instance, then come back and check the auction, then inspect some people standing around in their pretty epics... and suddenly discover that it's 1 in the morning and you've spent many more hours playing this game than you had planned.

Then again, for some people, limiting themselves isn't at all the problem -- it's limiting their kids they worry about! Their children agree to only play for 1 hour, but then 2 or 3 hours go by and they're still in there at the computer, saying, "But Daaaaad, I forgot!"

If either you or your loved one needs a gentle reminder about how much time has gone by while adventuring in Azeroth, WoWTimer may be the addon for you.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

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