Many of us starting gaming when we were kids. I started when I was 9 years old when a friend introduced me to this weird book called AD&D Oriental Adventures. That book messed me up. Telling a nine-year-old you can be a samurai and battle Japanese dragons?
It was over.
I was hooked.
Fast forward thirty something years and now I am a parent with kids of my own. I have kids ranging in age from 18 to not yet hatched. When my oldest two were 7 or so, I would run a weekly game at the house. They sat there week on end watching us game. They were fascinated with the dice and the characters and the fun all the adults were having. They wanted in on the fun. That was when the fear sat in.
How in the world am I going to introduce role-playing games to my kids?
Should I even let them play?
Are they too young?
Will my wife kill me in my sleep if I do it?
As you can tell, my wife did not kill me.
What to Expect from “OMG, I Procreated!”
This is the first in a series of articles about the topic of gaming with kids. I am going to touch on a wide range of topics and issues that come along with trying to introduce gaming to your offspring. I hope sharing my experiences, mistakes, and successes will help others who are trying to introduce our beloved hobby to kids.
When to Let the Offspring Roll Some Dice
I am going to start with probably the biggest hurdle and concern among parents I know who game: When are they old enough to game?
This is by far the biggest issue I have heard over the years, both at FLGSs and online. Let me start with the extremely lazy answer.
I have no bloody idea.
Seriously, I have no idea if your kid is old enough to game. Not a single clue. It is your kid. Ok, now the lazy and mildly sarcastic response is out of the way, allow me to truly answer. You need to know your child.
Are they able to sit down and play a board game for longer than 15 minutes without getting bored?
Are they able to listen and follow simple instructions?
Are they reading (not a deal breaker but it does help a lot)?
Now, these are not iron-clad rules, but merely suggestions of a way to gauge if your child is ready to game.
As I said, I have children ranging in age. My twins turn 18 this year. Next turns 14. After that, I have an almost-9-year-old, a 6-year-old, a 16-month-old, and one that is under-cooked. Each child was interested in gaming at different ages.
The twins started at 6 years old. I used the basic concepts of the D20 system and house ruled it to make it simple and streamlined for their age. The 14-year-old I never introduced to gaming for various reasons. The 9-year-old played her first game last year because before then she was not interested. The 6-year-old actually started gaming at 5. Sadly, he suffers from ADHD, and I have found using gaming as a tool, it has helped him focus and has made learning much easier for him.
Ok, I know I went on a bit of a rant there. Back on topic. There really are not any dead set rules of when you should introduce your children to gaming. It truly depends on your child and the game/system you want to use.
Up Next …
Next article, I plan to discuss various gaming systems and what I found works best for my children and their friends.
You May Be Interested in These Misfit Studios Products
Misfit Studios does not currently have a broad range of kid-friendly products, but here are some examples of our super-hero product lines that are okay for older kids.