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Oct 24, 2003



I think this is spot on. While I don't let my kids (7 & 11) play EQ yet due to the 733t d000ds, I do play Toontown with them from time to time, and keep an eye on what they're doing.

Watching your kids choose a goal and decide to work for it rocks. Helping them deal with frustration, overcoming a challenge, and celebrating success is great fun. And the occasional "betrayal" of a friend that won't play with you, or forgets to bring gags (weapons kinda) into a building opens up discussions of what kinds of friends are nice to have, and how they should act so others see them the same way...

Sure they go through that at school, but when's the last time your kid told you much more than "nuttin" when you asked about what happened in school. With me involved in their game the conversation just flows.

The games are also useful, since they have to have their homework and chores done first!


Very interesting... Though I would have titled the blog post "Sock-puppets in Cyberspace".

The thought of (someday) playing online games with my recently-born child is something I'm really looking forward to.


More generally, the fact that people play these games in teams and guilds will eventually change the stereotype attached to all videogames. Face it, this is social software. And isn't social software better for the family than TV? I think so.


I don't know Ed... This is a double-edged sword, just like TV.

Your child can watch a show you consider a 'bad influence', or your child could watch/perform 'bad behavior' online. You need to be there to explain the difference between the Paladin character, the Rogue profession, and hacking his playpal's account. Just as you need to explain TV shows. If you build the right context, then virtually anything can be a positive experience.

Perhaps the best part about playing with the family in a virtual world is that its more time spent together. It literally forces you to put the context in, could help develop problem-solving and teamwork skills, and you can have a more active role in what happens. *IF* you have those traits somewhat developed yourself to begin with... Your child will likely mimic the way you react to the challenges the game presents - which could be sub-optimal. Then again, since you are there with your child -and not in a jail cell-, then your way of handling problems is probably not that bad.

And to flip it back again, current Virtual Worlds except perhaps Disney's Toontown can be a very hard place to put into context. Bad attitudes, foul language, sexual innuendo, and grey-area morals abound. It's almost like random channel-surfing.


I have to agree with most people here, being that I am a teenager (16) I think it good of me to post something like this on your site.
Neither of my parents play video games, though I do. If they were to start and realize that somethimes video games can be good for their children, I belive they might start. I believe that my parents could take the fact that I'm a gamer into advantage, due to the fact that I got hooked on games at a young age, the best way to get me out of doing something or to get me to do something is by useing games. As someone stated up on the comments board, you could get your kid to do things to work for the game they want to play. I know I would do the work. It is a great idea to use situations in video/computer games as an excuse to go into something that may happen in real life.
Though I already have an excellent relationship with my parents, I believe that if they were to get interrested in what I am interested in, it would cause a much more social relationship. I love my parents, dearly, but it is somewhat difficult to talk to them because of how they may react when I say things. Parents can use anything in games to teach real life virtues, like completing what you start... anyway, I ran across this website in High School, and am commenting on it in here. So I have to go before the bell to 4th period rings. But I stand by my beliefe, if parents play games with their children, it will make a better family and most definitely social relationship. ----- Malekide


Malekide, your perspective is really important, for two reasons. First, so many of the people who comment on games don't actually play them. Second, you're living through the situation that everybody's commenting on.

There's such a gap in understanding between people who have spent some time in their youth playing games and people who haven't - several of us have commented here about how audiences of senior experts just are out of touch with what's going on. You know, Oprah is going to have a show that will demonize the games that you and I like to play, because she's going to cast them as a hindrance to family life. The fact is, there's nothing inherent in games that makes them a family problem. The problems arise when people who should be doing things together, don't. And those problems aren't about the games, they're about the nature of human personal relations in 2003.


Hi Guys,
My 11 year old seems obsessed with "Rune Scape". I've watched him play this game on several occassions and feel satisfied that he and his neighborhood friends enjoy a safe, fun, and strategically challanging time playing this game.
But there's a dialog box, and once my son said he was upset because an "older boy said something bad". It turns out that this elder (16?) was demanding a certain trade that my son refused. This triggered a bit of 'strong words' from the other boy.
My question is, do you think there's any real harm in this? Isn't it kids universal online experience to play games line Rune Scape? I told my son'r mom that we ought to begin by limiting our son's gaming time to an hour a day (he does all his homework and choirs diligently and he's a model student and son).
What do you moms or dods other kids think?


Explaining that 'strong words' is a result of frustration -like when he can't find a piece in a puzzle- and that that frustration comes out as 'strong words' because the child lacks a better education in how to deal with frustration, would go a long way towards putting the right context around these types of interactions as well as steer him towards a better solution than 'stong words' when he feels frustration himself.


just limit htere time


limit there time for 2 hours a day then the rest for playing games talking,walking the dog,the same for t.v 2hours a day


plz do it my son brian does the same thing and he is better now


Hello, I am 12 and I read this article and the comments below and I think that parents playing video games with their children is a good idea. But about limiting the time of game play, you should limit it but have the limit something like 1-2 hours on schooldays and 3-4 hours on weekends. Also, the next time your son tells you that someone said 'something bad' you should explain to him that it's a primal way to express your anger in that manner. I don't know his intellegence level or what he's learned in school but you could try explaining that we, as humans, have evolved past that type of behavior. Maybe that will teach him not to say 'something bad'.


My husband has become "addicted" to Runescape. He is in his 40's and has a daughter and son that also play with him. They were actually the ones that turned him on to it. He has stayed away from work, church, family functions and even avoids helping around the house, just to play his game. If I am not home to cook his meals he just doesn't eat. He sits in front of the computer all evening and controls my computer time in which I am paying our bills, checking my e-mail, etc. He gets up early on his days off and plays. It has definitely affected our relationship and when I have expressed my concerns about it, he becomes angry and calls me jealous and immature. Help!!!


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well like others who played runescape, im also "obsessed" with runescape. well im 13 yrs old it is really not that bad but i have 5 quistions for all those who can answer them. 1.what kind of math programs fo they learn in the game? 2.what do kids get influenced by it? 3.what is there parents reaction? 4.how is runescap helping the kids? 5.do the kids ever learned math from the game? anyways those who played it knows its cool. but seriously if you try it you will get obsessed with the game.


Hi, I have read these and notice most people here play Runescape. Well I used to play... Since Runescape Classic. This game is hard to quit... Ive sold some mils in real life for real cash to some of my friends at the library. I think I can help you if you have a problem with one of you're family members that needs to get off this game, and get back on track. If you need my help, Please feel free to email me. My E-mail link is right under my name. Just click, and you got it. If this wont let you, ill post it here. My email is [email protected] Thanks :)


I started playing an MMORPG because my son and a friend at work told me about it. My son has since moved on to another game and his brother has joined him. We have two computers, so I mainly just watch and talk to the boys when they are not in an intense battle. I have watched my 14 yr old learn social skills that teachers have tried for years to teach him. I have even heard him telling his friend to watch what he says when playing on my son's character. He didn't want to be represented badly. I have also watched my boys, who have complete opposite personalities, work together on missions in the game. Male bonding is usually done over some project. It was really nice to see my boys getting along and talking through what they were doing. Even though I do not play the same game as they do. I understand what they are talking about and going through, because I also play a game. I like having this in common with my kids and their friends. I have used situations that happen on the games to relate to real life. One big lesson is "ninja looting" where a player will loot something off of what was killed before anyone else who needs it can get a chance. It is like stealing someone's thunder in real life. If someone else should have the honors for something, let them have it. I could go on, but do not have time. I will say that I have a very close and understanding relationship with my kids and they know that they can talk to me about almost anything. The responsibility is up to parents to monitor what kids are doing and to get to know their kids and their hobbies instead of making excuses. When my generation were kids, it was television violence and sex, now its mmorpg. Same issue, different medium, differnet generations. Deal with it- or get over it!


Hello there everyone...me being a serious gamer myself...but all of those who play runescape please for goodness sake...QUIT....runescape shouldnt be called a MMoRPG because it sucks so bad...if your addicted to it....im sorry that just plain out sad.....second of all get them into something better like Diablo 2 EXP or World of Warcraft....but keep them away from Everquest..that game use to be the best game in the world until its 8th expansion...but yeah my parents dont play with me on video games..but i would love it if they did my older brother and i do and my best friend but if would be great if my parents did as well...Everquest 2 is just a waste of time...it sucks....but yeah...in everquest you can buy beer with 2 platinum...its amazing...you see they want you to buy beer and drugs on a game...that game is just horrible now so keep your kids away from it...and also keep your kids away from runescape because its horrible....but honestly...seriously...In MMoRPGs you really can learn alot from other people who play...try to stay away from people who are as we gamers call them..*Newbies* and people who dont use so nice of language...but i have really learned alot about life and stuff because other people in the chat boxes you can really learn alot...well thank you all for your time

and remember.....





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