A new blog…

Posted by dkidwell on January 6th, 2007 — Posted in ages 12-17, parenting

My son just started his own blog – Epic Pants.

He’ll be talking about his latest obsessions, Magic the Gathering and Word of Warcraft. MTG is a trading card game we began playing the year he was born, and we picked it back up this fall and introduced him to it. Just like his dad, he fell for it hook, line and sinker.

I’m thrilled to see he’s writing about topics he loves, and has a place to publish it and feel a sense of accomplishment out of the effort. All very good things. He’s a pretty clever kid and I’m curious to see what he does with it. Give him a shout of encouragement for working on his latest quest – Epic Pants!

The value of a dollar or a bag of gold…

Posted by dkidwell on October 27th, 2006 — Posted in ages 12-17, parenting

If you kid is playing World of Warcraft, they very likely have a bag of gold.  They’ve probably got a character that they’ve invested time and energy into while they play.

And those are real assets….virtual, but real.  Right now on ebay, a level 60 character is likely to be selling for just over $300.   Now, that’s unlikely to be a very strong hourly rate (if you type /played in the chat window it will tell you just how many hours your character has been played.)

But, that character has real value – and if you wanted to violate your term of service with Blizzard, you could convert that into real cash.  The IRS is even starting to pay attention.   Might not hurt to do a quick inventory, if your kid has more than one character, and talk about it.

A level 60 character is only achieved through play, and it’s an achievement that has real, quantifiable value.

Incentives for young gamers….

Posted by dkidwell on October 18th, 2006 — Posted in ages 12-17, parenting

Our oldest is about to turn 13, and he’s become quite difficult to wake up the mornings. For a solid hour we hear “eeeeerrrr” and “uuuuhhhh.” The sum total of movement from that kid is relocating from his bed to the sofa (to be fair, he get’s point for going all the way downstairs.)

This morning, we tried a new tactic:

“Hey, wake up and get ready so we can play Magic before you leave for the bus…”

Magic the Gathering is a fantastic card game that we played from the year he was born, 1993, until my daughter was one, 1997. (Yes, I mark the passage of time by both birthdays and the games we play.)
He heard the prospects of playing a round before school and BAM – he’s up, dressed, has had breakfast and brushed teeth in record time. Dad, by the way, wakes at 5 so he’s got time in the morning for these things – he’s pretty incredible. For about 20 minutes, he get’s a round of cards with his dad before they both are off for the day.

Wonderful way to start the morning!

Bring it on, Mom!

Posted by dkidwell on May 29th, 2006 — Posted in ages 12-17, parenting, pc games, sons

It’s a red letter day. One of those days that a mother would normally put into a scrapbook, like the first haircut, a baby’s first steps, or the graduation from kindergarten.

Over dinner, we were discussing a Half Life 2 Deathmatch – parents against kids (my son and his friend, both going into 7th grade.) My son gazes across the table and looks at me flatly. “Bring it on, Mom.”

‘Nuff said. It’s on, kid!