...my child sold your honor student the answers to the test...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Family Games

We are a family of gamers. J and I started the trend over 9 years ago, and over time, others were sucked in, including my mom and her husband (although thank god they don't play with us... and if you're reading this mom, nothing personal! I love you!!!) as well as our sons.

It's not uncommon in our household to find all computers being used by every person in the family at once, including Soren. Many a times I've gone down to get a fresh cup of coffee, only to find my desktop commandeered by Ashe or Xavier, who have taken over my MMO character and run her around like a chicken with it's head cut off. It's actually a reason why I wont do PUGs (Pick up groups with random unknown people in the game) on the off chance they ever saw my character being repeatedly murdered by a gleesome 2 year old as he runs her off cliffs. If anyone saw this happening, and I'm sure people have, they may wonder about my intelligence. Unfortunately while true, it's too easy to blame it on my offspring. I'm sure that's a common excuse for gaming idiocy.

Xavier is finally old enough to not only understand how to maneuver a character around the gaming world, but he knows how to actually play in a limited sense. I'm not yet ready to power level him to max level and have him join our raiding guild (besides we raid past his bedtime) but he is able to tag along with J and I once in awhile to complete quests and instances. He will be one of the few teenagers who can say he's been gaming since he was 3. Sometimes I wonder if that's really cool, or really sad?

He really gets into the game around Halloween, as there are a lot of extra fun and silly things to do and acquire, including nifty illusions to turn yourself into a skeleton or scarecrow. I stock up on these during this time of year so that I can mail them to him in game throughout the year for giggles. Since it is now that time, his interest n gaming has increased and he keeps stealing my computer when I'm busy with the other 2 kids and hopping on a new character he created.

His new character is named Blackshadower, a necromancer. One day last week, he bemoaned the fact that he didn't have a mount to ride like everyone else. Because his character was on my account and I had access to a mount per character J was able to get him a free one, a monstrous bear you can ride around. This please Xavier for awhile and he happily ran around, mauling poor innocent deer and shooting down fairies (and orcs and other things he was actually supposed to kill.) But then he decided his bear was not fast enough and wanted a horse. Horses in the game cost money. A lot of money, especially since he wanted one that rode really really really fast. He asked J to lend him in game money and J said nope, you don't play often enough for me to give you money yet. Show me you can play for awhile and I might. In the meantime, you can quest to get your own money for a horse. Apparently, Xavier didn't like that answer. We shouldn't be surprised because he never likes that answer even in real life terms despite the fact he now get a a $7 weekly allowance if he does all his chores.

So the other night after this conversation, and the kids were all abed, J and I popped on our game. A few minutes later J starts giggling and motions for me to come and look at his screen. He had noticed mail was sent to his character in game and opened it and this is what it was:

I especially love the fact only the last line is capitalized, showing he understood what he was writing and used capital letters to get his vehemence through.

J and I spent a long time chuckling and wondering if it was some keen joke of Zavis. We didn't want to be upset at him if it was, but if it wasn't we were going to need to have a little talk.

The following day J asked Zavi if it was a joke and it was not. Zavi said he was really sorry and he didn't mean to yell at J. I guess the two of them made amends and Zavi now really understands no pony is in his future unless he gets it himself. I guess I should be thankful he's asking for a virtual one and not a real live pony. It could be worse.

I now begin to worry about Ashe in the future with gaming, seeing as how he really has a grasp on the mechanics of the game at a much earlier age than Zavi did. At 2 he can do everything BUT quest. I look forward to seeing what kind of spam mails J and I will get in our virtual world from him in the coming years. Maybe he'll be demanding a dragon by then!

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