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Posts with tag teens

The parent's guide to video gaming for kids

The parent's guide to video gaming for kids DNP
If there's one thing concerned parents of young video gamers need to know, it's how important it is to acknowledge and support kids' love of games. Why an increasingly media-savvy culture continues to vilify gaming -- now a mainstream activity enjoyed on smartphones, tablets, and computers by Americans of all ages -- is somewhat confounding. Video games represent nothing more (or less) than another type of entertainment media, right alongside books, movies, and television. Just as responsible parents keep an eye on the books, TV shows, and movies their kids are into, they should do the same with games. The bottom line: a reasonable, age-appropriate approach to the quantity and quality of the media kids enjoy.

As the parent of a young gamer, your strategy is to remain figuratively plugged in to whatever they're doing. Don't all parents want to support their kids' hobbies? We want to know what they're doing, who they're with, whether they're safe, whether they're taking away some sort of life skill as well as enjoying some good, old-fashioned fun ...

What you might not have considered is that gaming for many kids represents a full-fledged hobby. What's your role as a parent, then? To be fair, you'll want to give your child's fascination with gaming the same level of scrutiny and support as you would the your little girl's love affair with karate or your teenaged son's involvement in a garage band. Whatever captivates your child's imagination should also attract your parental periscope.

We're not suggesting you plunk down to dutifully monitor your child's every mouse click in a game like World of Warcraft. Frankly, your kids don't want or need a hall monitor. But they do need your boundaries, your guidance, your feedback, your enthusiasm, and your support -- all the same things you'd bring to their karate competitions or their band concerts.

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Filed under: Drama Mamas

Officers' Quarters: How to earn respect as a teen officer

Teen prince Anduin Wrynn in Stormwind
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available from No Starch Press.

Teenagers as a whole have a terrible reputation in online games. In WoW, they are blamed for everything that's wrong with the community. People say they have no patience, they don't know how to play the game, they ruin chat channels with mindless chatter, and they're selfish, whiny, lazy, disrespectful, and entitled. Certainly some of the people who fit these accusations are teenagers.

However, not every teenager acts this way, and a good portion of the people who do are actually adults. On the internet, unfortunately, perceptions tend to win out over reality. This week, a teenaged officer asks how she can earn the respect of her peers.

Hello there Scott-

Our guild currently is going through some major issues at the moment when it comes to who shall be running what when it comes to what is occuring in the guild. ... About a month or two ago, our guild leader ... decided to call it quits for the time being, our guild was going downhill at that time, and people starting to abandon us. We reasonably thought that sooner or later this guild was gonna expire sometime in the future, and that nothing could stop it.

However, it came to the point where some of our officers and such managed to pull back the guild together through emails and messages spread across multiple medias. Our guild, in my mind, finally has settled back into what it was before, however without the guild leader to guide us. All of us (the officers) decided to take the role of leader. ... Things were going pretty smoothly.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Drama Mamas: Liar, liar

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.

World of Warcraft has been out so long now that many kids have grown up playing it. Their behavior, world views, opinions, and so forth have changed drastically as they grew from ages 13 to 19. This should not be surprising, as we all were vastly different after six years in childhood. I think it's hard to remember this when you're an adult, when six years normally means some change but not necessarily extreme change in everything about ourselves. Decisions we made at 15, both in game and out, are going to be different from decisions we make after graduating from high school and everything that goes along with that event. This is something I tried to keep in mind when answering this week's letter.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Drama Mamas: The combustible combination of minors and romance

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.

This week, we tackle a topic that I find rather scary, as a mother of a budding drama queen and gaming geek.


This may be way beyond the kind of thing you can help with but my guild has recently suffered a few bits of drama that have revealed a worrying situation and I'm having a hard time working out what to do next.

About a month ago a young girl (mid teens) joined the guild, we don't have a specific age range although as a casual end game guild we expect a certain level of maturity. She didn't interact much with the guild although one guy who helped her out a bit she really latched onto. She wouldn't run heroics unless he was there and they often moved into different vent channels to be alone. After a couple of weeks we had to kick her from the guild as she simply couldn't take criticism. It also turned out that she had recently been pulled out of school due to depression although some of the higher level officers in the guild were speculating on if that was genuine or was an excuse.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

WoW, Casually: Playing WoW with your teen

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.

Last year, I talked about playing with preschoolers and reading-age children. Several months later, I'd like to continue the series by tackling the topic of teens. I'm now tempted to talk in tantalizing alliteration, but I really can't keep it up. Anyway...

Teens provide a completely different challenge than the young children we've discussed before. Teens are already extremely competent readers, experience Trade Chat-like talk in school on a regular basis and have the coordination skills required to fully play the game. So they don't need the coddling and constant supervision, but that doesn't mean that the benefits of parents playing with teens aren't just as valuable.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW, Casually

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

Drama Mamas: Let the drama begin!

Let the Drama Mamas guide you through the sticky business of dodging drama, toward becoming that player everyone wants in their group. Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Getting your own 15 Minutes of Fame is not a bad thing – except when it's for all the wrong reasons. Leave the drama, Dear Reader, to the denizens of GuildWatch. Introducing's Drama Mamas, here to help you stay out of the wrong kind of spotlight. 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.

What to do, what to say? Let the Drama Mamas guide you:
  • The polite way to share quest monsters
  • When someone "accidentally" ninjas your loot
  • When you accidentally ninja someone else's loot
  • Handling the (nice but annoying) pest
  • When your friend's significant other is an awful player
What's your dilemma? Send your questions to the Drama Mamas at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

And now, on to the matters at hand ...

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Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Features, Drama Mamas

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

Craig Sherman of Gaia Online: WoW is "not a success"

See if you can follow this reasoning: WoW has ten million players, which is nice and all, but there are actually 800 million teens in the world. Therefore, since Blizzard hasn't reached even 10% of them (80 million), WoW is not actually a success. That's what Craig Sherman of Gaia Online (a casual, browser-based MMO) said to folks at the M16 Marketing conference in San Francisco this week. He claims that WoW's subscription fee has hampered its growth, and that it would be even bigger if there was a free-to-play model.

But his reasoning is unstable there to say the least. Part of the reason WoW is so successful is that Blizzard has had the cash to put up for new servers, new content, and a brand new HQ, and with a free-to-play model, they wouldn't be making nearly as much money as they are. Not to mention the quality of the players -- in my experience, part of the reason WoW is such a good game is that when people pay to play it, you often get a much more interested and involved player base. And of course, while yes, WoW hasn't reached a larger fraction of its "potential" player base (however you define that -- what makes Sherman think that Blizzard is targeting teens at all?), anyone who thinks a 10 million player MMO is "not a success" needs to examine the rest of the MMO market more closely.

Will there be a game bigger than World of Warcraft? It sure seems like it -- at some point in the future, there should be a game that does go free to play and does hit on all the marks -- casual, hardcore, serious, fun -- that World of Warcraft does (in fact, maybe WoW itself will someday open up a free-to-play model). But to claim that WoW has somehow suffered from its subscription model is pretty far from the truth.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard

What's your guild's age spread?

One of my favorite WoW podcasts(besides our very own, of course) is Casually Hardcore from WoW Radio. They're a very fun bunch and they cover the topic of age fairly often in their fan mail.

I realize a lot of young people play WoW, but I haven't had much direct experience with the really young crowd. As far as I know, I've only played with someone under 16 a couple of times since late 2004. I'm 21 now, and I'm actually the third youngest person in my guild, and there's only a few others younger than I am in our entire guild alliance. We probably just fall short of 200 people across all of the guilds, so the idea of people so young playing WoW is actually quite strange to me. I see parents saying "AFK, my daughter needs me" more often than kids or teens saying "sorry guys, I have school in the morning."

While there are definitely mature younger people playing WoW(I like to think that I was/am one... maybe) but I haven't honestly had much experience with the younger crowd at all. I'm willing to bet money that my guild's average age is somewhere in the high 20s. What about you guys, willing to take a guess? Is your guild younger? Older? A mix of all sorts?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends

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