Gamer 101

– Guest Author Victoria Stewart

If Blizzard really wants to see the game properly, the developers should have to play the game for at least 2 hours with a 7 year old. Every detail is scrutinized, every unclear instruction debated, every over simplified storyline has to be filled in and God forbid there should be a glitch.

I was in Darnassus with my 7 year old when suddenly she jumped off the second story of a building and sat down in the water near by and refused to move or talk.

“What’s wrong Lizie?”

“mumble, mumble… nothing” She said in a pout.

“Did you train for skinning like you wanted to?” I asked.

“No.” She grumbled and sunk down deeper into the water.

“Why not? Didn’t you see the trainer up there?”

“Yeah, but she didn’t want to train me.”

“What? What do you mean? She told you no?”

I had already made sure that she had a profession slot open, so I knew that wasn’t it. She refused to speak any more on the topic, so I went up to the trainer to see what she would say to me and to make sure she went to the right NPC. Sure enough, there is a problem. Eladriel, the Darnassus skinning trainer had become a shield vendor. (It’s a bug ) I explained that there was a bug to Lizie and eventually she came to accept that it wasn’t a personal judgment on her ability to learn or her value as a human being (or Night Elf in this case).

Over all though, gaming with Lizie has been a positive experience. When we go to the grocery store in RL the list becomes the quest, other customers are the mobs (we don’t actually attack people, but we pretend we did afterwards.) and of course the frustration of not being able to find the right kind of Froot Loops after going to two stores (Instances). The epic battle with the pharmacist to get him to drop the right kind of kids allergy medication is a story she still retells. Errands are fun now. Disappointments becomes part of the challenge and a long walk to a store becomes a opportunity to talk about how much better things will be when she gets her mount at level 40.

6 Comments so far

  1. Vespillo (unregistered) on August 9th, 2006 @ 9:38 pm

    I would not let a seve year old take part in the WoW Game, even if it is guided by someone.
    Gaming in that intensive way as in WoW is an experience, even a very much older person has to struggle with.
    Just image the effect the game has to a seven or ten year old kid.
    Please take your responsibility and find better ways to play with your kid. There are enough addicts out there…
    just my 2 cents

  2. James Foreman (unregistered) on August 9th, 2006 @ 10:02 pm

    Playing a game like WoW does not automatically cause addiction. In fact, it rarely causes addiction – I think you’ll find that a small percentage of WoW players are such out of an uncontrollable compulsion.

    There are valuable lessons to be learned from games, especially games like WoW. I would direct you to a book called Everything Bad is Good For You, by Stephen Johnson. There is an excerpt here:

    Also, I think sharing a game with a kid is a pretty healthy way to spend time with one’s progeny. After all, there are few enough things that an parent and child can share that entertain both equally.

  3. Squiggle (unregistered) on August 10th, 2006 @ 3:06 am

    An excellent example of sharing something with your kids … Lovely.

  4. Vespillo (unregistered) on August 10th, 2006 @ 3:56 am

    I find it very hard to believe that a 7 year old kid, even when guided by its parents, can make the difference between real life and WoW.
    Seems you have one of these special kids, that are born with the mind of a sane adult. grats to that..
    I would not be so proud about this story..
    a 40 year old Warlock from Aman’Thul (Germany)

  5. elfchick (unregistered) on August 10th, 2006 @ 5:11 am

    I think that if you have a 7 year old who can’t tell the difference in real life and a game, you should be more concerned. My 11 year old has been playing games of one kind or another since he was learning to read at 5. It was a fun way of learning a skill and getting to do something he enjoyed along the way. Yes he plays wow and has a lvl 45 chraracter, but he doesn’t spend all his time in the game. He would much rather surf around, play tennis, chess, or any other number of activites. We actually kid around that he’ll be 18 before he gets around to hitting 60. He’s picked up some interesting skills along the way, learning the value of watching the market for deals on items that he wants. He plays the AH pretty well, and makes most of his money by buying and selling items. He’s in our guild, and is the official mech squirrel maker for all of our new members.

  6. phoenix (unregistered) on August 10th, 2006 @ 9:29 am

    Agreed with Elfchick.

    @Vespillo: whut?

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